Customer Reviews for

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

45 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Cat for TeensReadToo.com

I'll admit -- I put off reading THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN for well over a year, in favor of more "exciting" books. Boy, what a mistake I made!

Told from the perspective of thirteen-year-old Arnold Spirit, an intelligent, observant, sarcas...
I'll admit -- I put off reading THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN for well over a year, in favor of more "exciting" books. Boy, what a mistake I made!

Told from the perspective of thirteen-year-old Arnold Spirit, an intelligent, observant, sarcastic Indian born with encephalitis and a love of cartooning, Sherman Alexie takes us along with him as he moves away from a circumscribed, oppressive life on the Spokane reservation towards a more promising future by attending an all-white school thirty miles away.

Never one to get bogged down in sentiment or self-pity, Mr. Alexie refuses to present Arnold's friends and family as one-dimensional stereotypes, nor is the world beyond "rez" borders portrayed as the Great White Hope. Arnold's family has problems, to be sure: an alcoholic father, an enabling, codependent mother; a near shut-in older sister. But their love for each other is evident through their words and actions. And despite the ostracism and ridicule heaped upon him by former friends and other tribe members, Arnold reacts with biting wit rather than total despair.

This has to be one of the best books I've ever read in my life, so I hope everyone gives it a try.

posted by TeensReadToo on October 25, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

40 out of 139 people found this review helpful.

Inappropriate for Children of All Ages

When the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie was brought up in a curriculum committee meeting as recommend reading material for 10th graders I decided to proof read the book. To my surprise the book is full of swears, crude language, b...
When the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie was brought up in a curriculum committee meeting as recommend reading material for 10th graders I decided to proof read the book. To my surprise the book is full of swears, crude language, blaspheme, and filthy references.

If you like South Park humor than this is the book for you. Most of the funny situations only make you laugh because of a carefully placed swear word or racial slur. I understand teens are going to hear or use these words but even if it is a learned behavior it should NOT be a taught behavior. There are thousands of young adult books available that have to be better for your children than this one.

Barnes & Noble's filters won't even allow me to post a censored version of the books content but you can see a list of the vulgar words at amazon dot com. (The f-word a-word s-word and all sorts of other words that the FCC won't even allow on broadcast television.

posted by R_Brandt on October 4, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2013

    X

    I am 12 years old and this book is totally not appropriate for me. I thought it wpuld be ok because it was about someone who is only two years older then me. The amout of swear words and inappropriate refferences that were just disgusting. I know the book was about poverty and those would be words used but i mean come on. What telve year old wants to hear that stuff every page. If we forgot about 50% of this books content then this would be one of the best books that i haveever read. It took you into a world of teuth and what it is like to be a total outcast in a very poor community that goes through racism all the time. I just cant get over the language thoug.

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

    Funnny

    Catk

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    Eehh

    I read this book cause a bunch of my friends said it was really good. I disagree. I mean, the main character has an... interesting way if thinking, and the story is nice, but i just really dont like him or the story. I dont think this book is as good as everyone says.

    •AS•

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Amazing

    Lets make a fan club. My name will be Beta. Respond saying 'to beta' if you agree.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    Better Books By Sherman Alexie

    In the book The Absolutely True Story of a Part-time Indian, by Sherman Alexie the main character, Arnold is faced with fitting into a world that he does not understand too well. He chooses to transfer from a small school on his Indian reservation to a small school outside of the reservation where everyone is better off than he ever imagined. During this time he is forced to experience deaths of many loved ones, finding and losing relationships, all while his sister chooses to leave their family and marry am Indian gambler. After reading this summary you must be thinking this book has to be good aren't you? But I'm not much of a fan of "The Absolutely True Story". It may just be me but it lacks excitement, and the rising action is too long but once you get to the peak of the book it's not worth the wait. Not only that but it has too much violence, maybe Alexie was trying to make it exciting with violence but it's not interesting.
    Can you imagine going through a factory where they make shoes, and you're waiting for the end because you're expecting them to give out a pair of shoes or at least very small ones. But you're only disappointed to find out they're only handing out small fabric samples? I mean come on the least they could do is give away laces! Well that's how this book felt to me. It was a boring book with not much excitement. I must admit though there were some parts that were interesting but it quickly lost my attention again. But the rest was just unnecessary boredom for me. Like when Arnold went on and on about how he... well uh, how he loves to spend his time reading magazines if you know what i mean. And then he says that he thanks God for his thumbs because without them he wouldn't be able to have uhh fun with magazines! I mean come on you went through a page talking about something and it's not even important to the book.
    And then we have the violence part, a punch is thrown here and there, for what seems like every other chapter. And yeah, I understand fighting is exciting but if there's too much it's just plain boring. Like if you went to a school in the projects, I'm not trying to discriminate but there's violence all the time there. It's just typical, no one talks about it anymore because no one cares. If you missed that fight stay tuned because there is sure to be another one next week. So that's kind of how it's like in "The Absolutely True Story of a Part-time Indian". There was no need for all the violence, he could have made it exciting some other way.
    Lastly, the book was too long. Maybe not physical but mentally, it dragged on making you have to force yourself to read the next chapter, and so on. There's so many unimportant sentences and even long pages of it in the book, I question if Sherman Alexie even had a clue of what he was going to write about before he wrote it. He'll just somehow relate any situation with a random thing, like a backpack to a lion. And for some weird reason, Arnold talks about how Mary once told him he was trying to find his way back into their mother's womb. I understand that this book is suppose to be like a recording of his life but that kind of stuff is just unnecessary. Especially in books where there's suppose to be a theme/topic about the whole thing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Some YA

    The first part of this book made me laugh out loud. It definitely had its moments. A very quick read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good for Diary style of writing-

    Good for Diary style of writing--would have wished for more discussion about what is to be a 21st century Native American--if you are an enrolled member and grew up within your Native community than you are Native--not part-time.
    However, it is good thing to support a fellow Native brother who is doing something--we need to support eachother

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 2, 2010

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