October 24, 2016
The Absolute Diary of a Part-Time Indian
The Absolute Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Ellen Fornay (illustrator)
2007 Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Finished on May 17, 2016
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good!)
National Book Award for Young People's Literature (2007)
Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production (2009)
American Indian Library Association Award
South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Young Adult Book Award (2010)
Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2008)
Florida Teens Read Nominee (2009)
American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Young Adult Book (2008)
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction (2008)
The Inky Awards Nominee for Silver Inky (2009)
Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2011)
James Cook Book Award Nominee (2009)
The Inky Awards Shortlist for Silver Inky (2009)
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
I've always been curious about Sherman Alexie's novels, but until a customer practically thrust this book in my hands, telling me I had to read it, I've never stopped to try any of his works. I'm so glad I listened to my customer! It's an excellent book and one that I will recommend to others, as well. It's a fairly quick read and packed with lots to discuss, so this is one to add to your book club suggestions. Alexie deals with topics such as racism, poverty, alcoholism, grief, loyalty, and family and while it's touching, it's not overly sentimental or saccharine. By the end of the book, I was cheering for Junior.
The Absolute Diary of a Part-Time Indian is on its way to becoming a classic. It was published almost a decade ago and remains very popular with both teens and adults. I know I plan to read it again and am anxious for my granddaughter to give it a try next summer. I'm eager to try another novel by Sherman Alexie. Any suggestions?
I understand that the hardcover includes a forward by Markus Zusak (author of The Book Thief), as well as interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney. I'm going to have to find a copy of this particular edition so I can read those "extras" and check out the four-color interior art. The paperback edition that I read only had line drawings.