The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Review

Author: Sherman Alexie
Series: None
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown
Retail Price: $9.73
Page Count: 230
Received: Borrowed
Rating: 5/5



Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike. (Goodreads)


A truly inspiring tale about an Indian reservation teenager who is trying to change the way his life ends up. The journey for our main character Junior is a tough and funny and weird and sad one that you will enjoy every second of.

I’ve never been so inspired by a book. Of course, lots of books are inspiring but this one was on a whole other level. The way Junior is trying to change his future is so heart warming because he listened to somebody who had the best interest in him. It inspires to want to listen to all the advice that people give to me. Another lesson I learned through this is to stay strong. After all the Arnold goes through, he still stays strong and I hope that’s something a lot of people who read this picked up too.

The only thing I would have liked to be different would be Junior’s speech impediments of stuttering and having a lisp; I wish it would have been projected although Junior himself says that he doesn’t want it to be. I felt it would have added to the fact that Junior is an outcast to what seems to be like everybody. It would’ve added more character than he already has.

“I’m not even writing down this story the way I actually talk, because I’d have to fill it with stutters and lisps, and then you’d be wondering why you’re reading a story written by such a retard” (4).

The writing is beautiful in a diary-of-a-teenage-boy kind of way. All the things that Junior learns, we learn too and let me tell you, for a boy of only 13-14 years of age, he comes to some beautiful realizations that resonated throughout me while I read. I almost made me realize those things too. There are lots of amazing quotes that can be taken away from this novel.


Junior’s grandmother was my favorite character in this entire novel. It was so sad to have to let her go. With how casually Junior brought up what happened to her, I had to read that sentence / paragraph three times before it really sunk it. The way Junior describes his grandmother, she sounds like such an amazing person. The way she didn’t judge, and how happy and optimistic of a person she was, I was constantly happy when reading about her. R.I.P Grandmother Spirit, you will truly be missed.

“‘Who cares if a man wants to marry another man? All I want to know is who’s going to pick up all the dirty socks?'” (155).

I did not like Rowdy, Junior’s best friend. Yes, Rowdy’s character was supposed to be this tough guy and always punch everybody and such, but he wasn’t a good listener and he hurt Junior because of it. He could have been in as good of a position as Junior, if you would have just listened to Junior, who had his best interest in mind. I personally felt like Junior was too forgiving towards Rowdy because the way he treated him was too messed up for the great way that Junior treated him.

QUESTION OF THE NOVEL (I feel like I should start this for every review that I do): Was Rowdy one of the dressed up kids that beat up Junior on Halloween? Sherman Alexie, if you ever read this, please answer this question! I’d love to know <3.

Favorite Quotes:

“But gay people, being both male and female, were seen as both warriors and caregivers” (155).

“I belonged to… the tribe of bookworms… the tribe of tortilla chips-and-salsa lovers” (217). These two lines so spoke to me.

“The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his community to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.” -Lombardi (142)

“If you speak and write English, or Spanish, or Chinese… only a certain percentage.. will get your meaning… But when you draw, everybody can understand it” (5).

“I couldn’t let them get away with that shit… I was defending Indians, black people, and buffalo” (65).

“‘I’m wearing this to protest the treatment of homeless people… I’m going to ask for only spare change tonight, instead of candy…'” (78). Penelope is such a sweetheart.



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