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

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieMy two sons read this book and enjoyed it a lot. I had seen this book on some blogs and decided to read it for myself.

I read it in one day and it’s a delightful book, discussing both teenage problems as well as the particular issues that American Indians on reservations have to deal with.

Definitely a book aimed at children but still good fun for adults, too.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: What it is about

Junior grows up on an Indian reservation. He was born with some medical problems which means that he’s the one people pick on. He’s got only one friend, Rowdy, who is strong enough to defend him against any bullies.

Junior realises that most people on the reservation are on badly paid jobs, if at all, and many are alcoholics. He decides he wants a better life for himself and registers at an all-white school twenty miles away.

We learn about his problems trying to fit in at his new school, his problems even getting to school, as there is no school bus from the reservation going there, and his new status as a traitor among his family and neighbors at the reservation.

He’s funny and direct and learns to become a more self-assured person.

The book is full of funny pictures, in which Junior draws elements of his life.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: What I thought

An very enjoyable story, an easy read (I read it within a day). Even when discussing serious issues, Junior writes in a up-lifting way so the reader never feels bored or depressed but still picks up some new information about Indians and reservations.

Junior has trouble fitting in at the reservation school because of his handicaps and is protected by Rowdy. But when Junior transfers to the “white” school, Rowdy feels abandoned (he doesn’t have many friends himself) and does not want anything to do with Junior anymore. At his new school, Junior is the Indian kid and also has a hard time fitting in, while meanwhile at the reservation, many people think of him as a traitor. So, he’s gone from bad to worse. When he starts playing basketball for his new school,  things get better and worse.

The whole book is a search for finding a place where Junior can feel at home and use his talents.

A wonderful, original, and fast read.

Rating: 5/5

I got this book: from the library

I read this in: English (the original language)

Number of pages: 246

First published: 2007

Genre: children’s fiction


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

15 Responses to Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

  1. parrish says:

    This sounds like a fun read my daughter may enjoy, will try & locate it for her. Thanks

    • Leeswammes says:

      Parrish, she’ll probably enjoy it. Just be aware Junior has some “male solo sex” moments, nothing explicit and in good taste – at least, when I read it I didn’t think ‘Wow, did my boys read *this*???’, so it wasn’t too shocking. 🙂

  2. Tony says:

    This is a writer many people rave about, so I’ll have to check this out at some point. Probably from the library though – YA is not really my thing…

  3. I hadn’t heard of this book until I saw it top of the US world book night list yesterday. It sounded good when I looked it up and your review makes me even more interested in trying it.

  4. Funny, as I am also reading a book about Indians in a reservation right now – but crime fiction, of course.

  5. Chinoiseries says:

    This sounds like a very nice and quick read. Adding it to my to-read list 🙂

  6. Trisha says:

    I keep hearing good things about this one – like over and over again – and yet I haven’t picked it up yet. Bad me.

  7. akrich2012 says:

    I read this book,for my independent reading class, and believe me I really enjoyed it, it’s funny and sad some how. But, it’s one ot the best I have read in ages..So..,go check it out. you will like it.

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