The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am excited to finally be posting a blog post for the first time in almost three months. My life has been so hectic so I haven’t had time to really do anything. But The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was so good! I absolutely loved it, and I think it is a super important story to tell about a marginalized group. But let’s go ahead and jump right in!

Synopsis:

“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.”

My Thoughts:

This book was really good.

I do want to say that I had to separate the author from the work otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to read it. If you’re confused as to why, the author has been accused by several women of sexual harassment and sexual assault. I am in no way supporting these heinous acts, but in my opinion, this work is still deeply important and should be discussed in conjunction with what Alexie has been accused of.

We need more diversity in the literature that we are reading, and I loved reading a book about a Native American kid written by a Native American. I think it addressed a lot of the issues that many people do not realize trouble this community, such as binge drinking which often leads to numerous deaths. There is so much death in this book, a lot of grief, too. But it’s told in a way that is honestly super relatable. I lost my great grandmother a couple of months ago so I really related to the grief factor in this book.

This book is also a coming-of-age story, and it is absolutely hilarious. Junior is sarcastic and witty, often to mask his own insecurities, which I can personally relate to. I think a lot of people use humor to mask your own pain and insecurities. I also really loved the comics. They were always funny and relatable and I think they really added to the story. This book wouldn’t have been complete without them, in my opinion.

I also really loved how imperfect and real this book showed his parents. He talked about his family’s faults but he also talked about how wonderfully complex and loving they are. They truly want the best for him. Even though his dad was al alcoholic, he never missed one of Junior’s games. His mother was eccentric but loving, and everyone in the community suffers from some form of alcoholism, which is a real problem in the Indian community. I just think it was really well portrayed.

However, one negative thing I did take away from this book is the use of homophobic slurs. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I thought it was ridiculously used. That being said, there were also parts of it where it talked about how gay people were just people who liked the same sex or multiple sexes. It was a weird dichotomy of balance expressed in the novel.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I do think it is important and everyone should read it.

4-and-a-half-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. What is your favorite book with a person of color? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

XX , Allie

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