The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a 2007 novel for young adults written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney. The book won several awards.[2] This was the first young-adult fiction work by Alexie, a stand-up comedian, screenwriter, film producer, and songwriter who has previously written adult novels, short stories, poems, and screenplays.[3] Alexie stated that "I did [write the book] because so many librarians, teachers, and teenagers kept asking me to write one."[4]

The Absolutely True Diary is a first-person narrative by Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a 14-year-old budding cartoonist.[2] The book is a bildungsroman, detailing Arnold's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his decision, upon encouragement from a reservation high school teacher, to go to an all-white public high school in the off-reservation town of Reardan, Washington.[5] The novel has 65 comic illustrations by Forney, which sometimes act as punchlines while also revealing Arnold's character and furthering the plot.[6]

The novel is controversial for some of its content on issues such as alcohol, poverty, bullying, homosexuality, violence, and sexual references as well as for the tragic deaths of characters and the use of profanity. As a result, some schools have banned the book from school libraries or inclusion in curricula.[7]

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