The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. This heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written tale, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, is based on the author's own experience and chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he seems destined to live. It is illustrated in a contemporary cartoon style by Ellen Forney. 3.6 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Children's & Teenage
Format Paperback
Pages
RRP £5.99
Date of Publication June 2008
ISBN 978-1842708446
Publisher Andersen Press
 

In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. This heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written tale, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, is based on the author's own experience and chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he seems destined to live. It is illustrated in a contemporary cartoon style by Ellen Forney.

Reviews

The New York Times

Bruce Barcott

For 15 years now, Sherman Alexie has explored the struggle to survive between the grinding plates of the Indian and white worlds. He’s done it through various characters and genres, but “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” may be his best work yet. Working in the voice of a 14-year-old forces Alexie to strip everything down to action and emotion, so that reading becomes more like listening to your smart, funny best friend recount his day while waiting after school for a ride home.

11/11/2007

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The Guardian

Diane Samuels

Maybe it's the combination of drawings, pithy turns of phrase, candour, tragedy, despair and hope that makes this more than an entertaining read, more than an engaging story about a North American Indian kid who makes it out of a poor, dead-end background without losing his connection with who he is and where he's from. The writing occasionally relies too heavily on the cartoonesque quip, but mostly it is muscular and snappy with a knack for capturing the detail and overview with wrenching spareness.

04/10/2008

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The Los Angeles Times

Susan Carpenter

...it takes a master’s hand to transform sociological issues into a page turner that resonates with adolescent readers. Few writers are more masterful than Sherman Alexie... The high-school misfit is a familiar young-adult-story template, but Alexie makes it fresh because this particular misfit is one who doesn’t often appear in print.

16/09/2007

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The Sunday Times

Nicolette Jones

The book is nearer the knuckle than its cover suggests - chronicling Arnold Spirit's life as a “chronic masturbator” in a community afflicted by violence and drink... Written in a pacey vernacular, with sentence-long paragraphs and interspersed with Arnold's own cartoons, this book is funny and poignant, and makes us care about a community that has been tidied away out of sight, to the shame of the wider world.

13/07/2008

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The Times

Neel Mukherjee

It is a shame that this tale of chutzpah and the indomitable human spirit should be marred by mawkish self-pity, a grinding stylistic repetitiveness, a tone of breathtaking condescension, and the fakest 14-year-old's voice imaginable.

01/05/2008

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