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

A Native American teen transfers to a school outside his reservation and makes some surprising discoveries about his place in the world.

Awards & Honors

• National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, 2007

• A School Library Journal Best Book, 2007

• Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, 2008

• A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, 2008

Review

Junior’s life on the reservation pretty much sucks: His family’s poor, he’s constantly bullied, and his school books are so old that one of them used to belong to his mom when she was a freshman. Hardly anyone ever leaves the rez, but one day Junior realizes that doing so might be his only hope. He transfers to a “white” school 22 miles away—and finds himself an outcast there, too. Now he’s seen as a traitor to the tribe, his best friend won’t speak to him, and he’s not sure if he’ll ever fit in.

Alexie’s semi-autobiographical story rings true with sharp characterization and persistent humor, while illustrations by Ellen Forney enhance the reading experience. Junior is perfect company for anyone who’s ever wanted a place to belong.

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little, Brown, 2007.

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July 19, 2009. Tags: , , , . Multicultural, Realistic.

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