Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

 Title:The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Illustrator: Ellen Forney
Number of Pages: 230
Rating: 5/5
Release: September 12, 2007

Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation. Born with a variety of medical problems, he is picked on by everyone but his best friend. Determined to receive a good education, Junior leaves the rez to attend an all-white school in the neighboring farm town where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Despite being condemned as a traitor to his people and enduring great tragedies, Junior attacks life with wit and humor and discovers a strength inside of himself that he never knew.

Let me begin this review by saying that I fricken love this book. I couldn't believe that I hadn't picked it up earlier! It was on my to-be-read list for over a year before I actually picked it up. So let me tell you the reasons I love this book:

1) IT WAS FUCKEN FUNNY!!!! I cannot stress that point enough! I was forever LOL'ing (literally) while reading this book. I was reading it in class one day after finishing a test and I burst out laughing. Let me tell you, the kids and the teacher gave me some weird looks. But I didn't care, I couldn't help myself. Just read this non-spoilery part of the book and you'll see what I mean:

           " I once had a zit that looked like you. Then I popped it. And then it looked even more like you." (p 221)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA omg this book kills me! 

2) The main character, Junior, was just amazing. I wish I knew him in real life. I wish I knew the author in real life. He was a riot, but he was strong, determined, realistic, and straight up. He didn't sugar coat anything, just said it point-blank. He had guts. And the fact that he had a whole slew of medical conditions but never let them get in the way of what he wanted was even more endearing. 

3) The story line was brilliant. It was interesting to see a Native kid going to a white school because, well, when did you ever really see that? This book addressed the issues that Natives deal with on the reserves and how they're treated by the white people (sorry for being so blunt, I just don't know how else to phrase it) around them. Many things that happen in the book are shocking but I guess it's normal on reservations. The author puts a humorous twist on all the sad parts in the book to lessen the blow but it's still sad. I'm sure that people who read this book will find themselves laughing and crying at the same time because the author ingeniously makes both emotions applicable to the situation.

4) The pictures. Yes, there were pictures in this book and they were great! Funny, of course, but highly effective. They got the point across in a humorous way. The only thing that could pull me away from reading this book was the pictures. They made me crack up on so many different levels! They added depth to the words, bringing the book to a whole nother level ( I know nother isn't a word but it works :D). Let's have a round of applause for the illustrator, Ellen Forney, please! *clap clap clap*

So basically, what I'm trying to say is, GO PICK UP THIS BOOK! Alexei Sherman has written a  masterpiece. He brings to light the social issues associated with Native Americans and coats them with a humourous glaze. But don't let the homour fool you; this book is pretty damn serious. 



  1. I absolutely loved this book also. It was so funny and touching!

  2. ^ I agree; it's one of those books that has a little something for everyone !