Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
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on June 26, 2016
Wow--just read it.
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on June 25, 2016
A must read at any age and any race. Absolutely loved it. It brought me back to my childhood in a sad but also wonderful way.
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on June 22, 2016
Alexie communicates the complicated emotions we all experience with honesty and humor. This "too old to be young adult" treasured every moment with the characters in this book. I found myself rooting for Junior to stay true to his heritage and dreams.
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on June 21, 2016
I read this book after a local school board banned it. I've lived on the Flathead Indian Reservation in NW Montana. What a poignant story. Thanks, Mr Alexie for bringing it to us.
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on June 21, 2016
How good is this story? The answer depends on who it's written for. (For the record: I am a parent who is going through a series of books so that my sons will have things to read when they are of age whose contents I know.)

Here we have a (very) well-worn theme: Some member from some minority group lives his life in that way every single day without thinking about it (the same way that a fish does not think about living in water) and then he goes off to get educated at some institution by white people and turns into a radical and a spokesman for "his people."

If you are an adult who likes to read fiction or who likes particularly pithy writing (this reads like a Hunter Thompson novel written for an adolescent--lots of pottymouth), then it is pretty decent.

If you are an adult who is compiling a list for his child, then it's totally inappropriate. Some of the themes I am not ready to deal with with my son at 11 or 12. Others I am not ready to deal with *ever*.

Not at 11 or 12: Masturbation. Lots of foul mouth.

Never: Lots of Victimology. Excessive racial commentary. (My sons are two Chinese boys with a black father going to an Orthodox Jewish day school and I would rather they think of themselves as someone like everyone else there who just happen to have some black blood in them rather than create a prison for themselves with bars of victimhood.)

This National Book Award winner, much like the Newbery award winner books features 13 year olds who talk, reasons and have insight as though they're 40. (Tautologies. Redundancies. Singularities.) And they walk 22 miles home from school. (That is a trip of about 7 hours.)

Examples:

1. The chapter are allusions to things that a well read person would already know.
a. Tears of a Clown= The name of Smokey Robinson's song;
b. Slouching Toward Thanksgiving= A play on Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics)
2. There is, as before, the masturbation and the use of adult magazines;
3. In a lot of ways, this book reads like it was written for well meaning left wing white people to flagellate themselves (as if they don't find/ create enough things to torture themselves with).
a. The persistent theme of Indian poverty. (Poverty is not dependent on race.)
b. Indian stereotypes. (How many people even know enough about Indians to stereotype them? Can most people even pick out Indians from Mexicans?)
c. A discussion guide that asks about "The ways that racism has deeply impacted his and his family's life."
d. A discussion guide that goes on about "access to" health care, social services and wealth. (Here we go with the "access" argument. AGAIN.)
e. *Everything bad* that happens in his life is because he is Indian (and we all know what we're meant to infer as the cause of *that*).
f. I am surprise that it took all the way until page 117 for them the whip out the White Privilege.

Verdict: Give this book a miss if you want to put it in front of your kids. It's worth about $1 to read as an adult.
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on June 19, 2016
Not my type of book.
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on June 18, 2016
Great book, my 10th graders loved it!
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on June 17, 2016
Such a great,funny, honest, portrayal of real life from a cultural perspective different from most of ours. Love it, and continue to revisit it and pass it on.
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on June 17, 2016
My 14 year old read this recently, I'm about to read it myself. My son doesn't really enjoy reading and I try to find books he will get into and enjoy, He really liked this book because I think he was able to relate to the main character a lot. We are Apache and live in a predominantly non-Native area, I've been a fan of Sherman Alexie's books for a long time, I'm glad he wrote one that my kid enjoyed so much.
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on June 15, 2016
Arnold's whimsical and adventurous character had me laughing and feeling sympathetic. It was an amazing novel that had me hooked from the very beginning.
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