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    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


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Tiffany Davis, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Tiffany Davis)
I read this for a children's literature class after reading some of the more famus novels like "Little Women" and "The Golden Compass". Like his poetry and adult prose, Alexie's young adult novel is refreshing with laugh out loud quality. And the mixed genre of cartooning with prose makes it fun for all ages.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Julia with 3, September 17, 2011 (view all comments by Julia with 3)
One of the best books I've read all year -- whether for Y-A audiences or adult. It made me laugh, cry, and think big thoughts. What more could you ask from a book? Perfect for book clubs too.
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mizmeliss87, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by mizmeliss87)
This book is very honest about teenage boyhood, life as a Native American, tension between races, and much more. Sherman Alexie doesn't try to sugar-coat his characters but portrays them each as flawed individuals trying to figure out what the hell is going on their life right now. It is an amazing piece of work. It is full of light-hearted stories mixed in with raw and powerful emotions. Even though it is a young adult book, it is one of my favorite books to date.
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radfemme, June 11, 2011 (view all comments by radfemme)
A funny and revealingly honest book that gives hope (look! this boy overcame his circumstances, fears, etc. to live his life fully!) at the same time it fiercely crushes it (wow, are people really still so racist these days? ugh. And it's god-awful how rampant alcoholism is in the Native population but not at all surprising given the total loss of their lands and culture in return for internment camps and casinos).

My pet peeve, as always, is that any book--let alone a NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER BY A WELL-RESPECTED AUTHOR/ARTIST--had four significant typos pop out a me unbidden. Hey, here's an idea: how about the editors, proof-readers, publishers, et al respect the trees that died so we could read their books and respect the expectations of readers by actually producing error-free works? All in favor, say 'Aye!'
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
jestaben, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by jestaben)
Sherman Alexie's wonderful novel is just one more example of young adult fiction kicking the a** out of most adult fiction these days. This is the story of Junior, who decides to leave the Rez and his only friend, Rowdy, to attend an all white school 22 miles away. Junior is encouraged to make this decision by his white math teacher (after Junior has thrown a 30-year old geometry book at his head and been suspended from school) and this scene below is just one of many reasons I thought this book rocked:

Mr. P was crying.
I couldn't believe it.
I'd never seen a sober adult cry.
"But not you," Mr. P said. "You can't give up. You won't give up. You threw that book in my face beause somewhere inside you refuse to give up."
I didn't know what he was talking about. Or maybe I just didn't want to know.
Jeez, it was a lot of pressure to put on a kid. I was carrying the burden of my race, you know? I was going to get a bad back from it.
"If you stay on this rez," Mr. P. said, "they're going to kill you. I"m going to kill you. We're all going to kill you. You can't fight us forever."
"I don't want to fight anybody," I said.
"You've been fighting since you were born," he said. "You fought off the brain surgery. You fought off those seizures. You fought off all the drunks and drug addicts. You kept your hope. And now, you have to take your hope and go somewhere where other people have hope."
I was starting to understand. He was a math teacher. I had to add my hope to somebody else's hope. I had to multiply hope by hope.
"Where is hope?" I asked. "Who has hope?"
"Son," Mr. P. said. "Youre going to find more and more hope the farther and farther you walk away from this sad, sad, sad reservation."

So Junior goes off to school in Reardon and finds new opportunities (and new ways to feel alienated) but also loses his best friend, Rowdy. The story, narrated by Junior, is alternately funny, touching, and heart breaking and the illustrations (Junior is a cartoonist and the novel is filled with his visual commentary) work to intensify that mix.

Read this book. Laugh. Cry. Be angry. But just read this book!
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Alexie, Sherman
Little, Brown Young Readers
People & Places - United States - Native American
People & Places - United States
Social Issues - Adolescence
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - General
Race relations
Indian reservations
Social Issues - General
Humorous Stories
Children s-General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 9
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:

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Young Adult » Featured Titles
Young Adult » General

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Used Trade Paper
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$10.50 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Little, Brown Young Readers - English 9780316013697 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The engaging story and believable characters can pull in reluctant readers, but this novel has appeal for all ages. Alexie has a talent for expressing emotional truths without coming across as sentimental. This is the kind of book you want to keep handy so that you can pass it on to friends.

"Synopsis" by , Alexie's National Book Award winner chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live. Includes poignant drawings that reflect the character's art.
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