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

I have just finished re-reading this book and I think it is one that many of you would find a rewarding read. The book, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie, is an award-winning story of a 14-year-old American Indian who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. It is both funny and moving, a story about a boy who doesn’t fit in anywhere, who has to fight for a place, and still feels like an outsider. Major themes in the book include death, poverty, racism, and alcoholism. I know that sounds depressing but Alexie writes in such a way that the book is both heartbreaking and funny.

‘The Absolutely True Diary’ is used widely as a class reader but it is not without controversy. Some parents at Antioch High School wanted the book pulled from the school’s shelves and the curriculum because they believe it uses foul, racist language and describes sexual acts according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” has won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and was named one of the Los Angeles Times’ Favorite Children’s Books of 2007 and New York Times’ Notable Children’s Books of 2007.


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