The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a novel by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney. The book won several awards, and 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.[2][3] Alexie stated, "I [wrote the book] because so many librarians, teachers, and teenagers kept asking me to write one." [4]

Despite the novel's high acclaim and several achievements, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has also received a lot of objections and has consistently appeared on the annual list of frequently challenged books since 2008.[5] The controversy stems from the novel’s discussion of alcohol, poverty, bullying, violence, sexuality, profanity and slurs related to homosexuality and mental disability. As a result, some schools have banned the book from school libraries or inclusion in curricula.[6]

The Absolutely True Diary is a first-person narrative from the perspective of Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a 14-year-old budding cartoonist.[3] The book is a coming of age story, detailing Junior's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation, and his decision to go to an all-white public high school off the reservation. The graphic novel includes 65 comic illustrations that help further the plot.[7]

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