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

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre(s): Young adult

Note: I read this book before all of the sexual assault allegations came out. I enjoyed the book, even if the author might be garbage.

693208Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] 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.

 

Pros:

  • This book really was absolutely true, content-wise.
  • The illustrations were great.
  • This book followed a teenage boy through his eyes, uncensored and honestly.
  • It was so fricking funny.
  • There’s a great message here about being loyal to yourself and your origin at the same time.

Cons:

  • It was just a tad too simple for me, but as a middle grade/young adult book, that’s to be expected.

My Thoughts: I’d heard of Part Time Indian here and there through the Booklr and Bookstagram worlds, but mostly overlooked it because it just didn’t sound like my kind of thing. But when the CVUSD and some of their more “concerned” parents challenged this book and tried to strike it from the curriculum (hey there, 1950 – it’s nice to see you’re making a comeback), I just had to get my hands on a copy.

And honestly, even if I hadn’t read it just as a smack in the face to our more conservative board members, I still think this book would have been enjoyable.

Junior’s life is anything but perfect. But they way he describes his trials, his successes, and his dreams is just so real. It was like he was sitting right in front of me telling me his story. I found myself laughing out loud more often than not, and I was pleased with how the story ended.

As far as the book ban shenanigans go — fuck ’em. Those concerned parents are the same ones who give their kids unfiltered access to the internet via smart phone all day long. They’re clutching their pearls in the wrong direction.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Sherman Alexie
Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books
Banned Books Your Kid Should Read

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