The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

Summary: This book follows the life of Arnold Spirit, or Junior, as he goes from living on his Indian Reservation to a small farm town where everyone is rich and he is the only Indian. Junior loves to draw, but he still encounters tragedy in his life as he loses a few loved ones throughout the story. Still, he has made a few friends at his new school and has even joined the basketball team. In the end though, it is the tragedies in his life, mixed in with him adjusting to his new school that makes this book a fun but touching read.

Strengths of the Book: It could be said that this book is realistic fiction, but the book was inspired by authors Sherman Alexies life, so in a way it could also be considered autobiography. When it comes to the criteria of realistic fiction, I believe this book fits in quite well. Even though our main character is Native American, he himself is not a stereotype. There is also a theme of grief and loss which is well inputted into the story line. And of course, there are other realistic issues that Junior goes through. As an adolescent, he wants to fit in and he has realistic hobby of creating comics.

Connections to Text: This book is full of literary elements as told in our textbook. There is a protagonist, Junior, whom does a good job of being a character you could root for. There is a clear plot to follow, from him leaving the comfort of his reservation to his new school, which includes conflict as well.

Other Connections: Book Trailer    Lesson Plans   Similar Books

Alexie, S. (2007). The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian. New York: Little, Brown.



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