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June 2017: Coming of Age > The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Alexie

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message 1: by Jgrace (last edited Jun 07, 2017 03:28PM) (new)

Jgrace | 2938 comments The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Alexie
5 stars

“The world is divided by two different tribes. The people who are assholes and the people who are not.”

“If you care about something enough, it’s going to make you cry. But you have to use it. Use your tears. Use your pain. Use your fear. Get mad. Arnold, get mad.”


So this is what a banned book looks like. I wish I’d known about this book when it was published in 2007. Sadly, it was not something that came to the attention of a first grade teacher. That’s really too bad, because my son was 12 or 13 around then, and still very much affected by the death of his father and grandfather. This book would have been useful. It might still be useful.

I think this book could also be a useful counterpoint in discussions of Thirteen Reasons Why. Junior is a kid with a lot of good reasons to quit; poverty, physical disability, family history of depression and alcoholism, multiple deaths of family members.There is nothing fair about the life he’s been given. But he doesn’t quit. He does something drastic to improve his chances of having a better life. He expresses himself with his art and he makes lists of the people and things that give him joy. He fights back.

He’s also a teenaged boy. He’s crude. He uses foul language. He masturbates. Is this a new story? It is not. It makes this character a believable human being. Banning the book can’t change the human message. But, as Sherman Alexie has commented in interviews, it certainly increased his sales. More power to him.


message 2: by Kimber (new)

Kimber (kimberwolf) | 841 comments Great review. I gave this book 5 stars the year I read it, as well. It's a powerful story. I haven't read anything else by Alexie yet, but I intend to.


message 3: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2938 comments Kimber wrote: "Great review. I gave this book 5 stars the year I read it, as well. It's a powerful story. I haven't read anything else by Alexie yet, but I intend to."

I've got The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven on my kindle. I'll have to move it up on my tbr mountain.


message 4: by Jenni Elyse (new)

Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 1365 comments I really want to read this book. I've heard such good things. I think I've also heard that it's sort of autobiographical. I don't know if that's true or just a rumor. Maybe someone can answer that for sure.

I'm glad you liked it.


message 5: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2938 comments I think the author called it semi-autobiographical.


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