Contents of blog copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2023
I've been gone a while. I started reading fanfiction to escape and I got sucked in an abyss.

I have no idea if someone else is hosting similar challenges. I just grabbed some of what I have hosted before.

Here's to a happy year of great reading
Jan2023: Not much has changed. Writing a fanfiction now O_o as well as reading but I bought 7 new books in December and hope to get those read soon. Crossing fingers about adding challenges (late!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thoughts on...The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

I'm very happy to be part of Banned Books Week. It is a sensitive subject for me as it should be for all who love to read. There is a giveaway at the end of the post. Don't forget see what others are reading or have to say about Banned Book Week this week! 

This was a difficult book to read. It truly reads like a diary and it felt like I was invading someones privacy. Add in the social issues of living on an Indian Reservation plus the bullying and I really struggled with it.

This book made it on ALA's Top Ten Banned/Challenged books of 2011. Reasons? offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

Let's take the age group complaint first. It is written about a high school student for high school, or almost high school, students. You may not want your 11-year old reading it but only because they may ask you uncomfortable questions.

Sexually explicit and offensive language are easy.... the boy is 14. Hello! The person/people complaining about this only have little girls who don't play in the dirt, don't remember when they were 14 or are lying about it, have never spend time "eavesdropping" on the playground/sports field. I felt it was all character/age appropriate. If you haven't talked to your children about sex, you may find yourself answering uncomfortable questions.

Racism? Realism/stereotype. Sure Dad is an Indian and an alcoholic but the popular girl is bulimic and the most popular boy is the Senior Quarterback. How are you supposed to write about an Indian without expressing real and imagined characteristics? How are you supposed to tell a story about high school kids with out talking about high school attitudes?

Religious viewpoint? Sorry, I didn't see this one. Oh, wait. Do you mean anything that hinted of cultural ceremonies? Did it hurt your sensibilities to see someone celebrating a life instead of tearing their hair at a funeral?


Junior didn't start life out very well and some of the medical issues were because of who is was. An Indian. Too bad he didn't fit the mold they tried to push him into. He was too smart. Smart enough to go to the "white" school. This book is his freshman year. It does give you some background but the real story starts on the first day of high school when he throws a school book and hits a teacher.

He didn't AIM at the teacher. It's just that the book he was handed was the same book his Mother used. Yeah, that old of a text book. The teacher talks him into changing high schools, "...I don't want you to fail. I don't want you to fade away...."

This book is about a boy trying to better himself. The life he lives at home. The struggle to get to school everyday. The attitude of those still at home (reservation) and those at the new school.

The story of a high school boy.

Disclaimer: This book is from my personal library. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and may differ from yours. Book information courtesy of publisher

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

publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
format: hardcover
ISBN:  9780316013697
Juvenile Fiction - Social Issues, Adolescence
240 pages

Product Description:
In his first book for young adults, 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 acclaimed artist 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. a reward for reading the whole thing.... I'm going to give away my copy along with a homemade bookmark. No fancy entry form, you don't have to follow me (it would be nice), you just need a US mailing address and leave a way for me to email you to get it. I'll pick a comment at random on October 11 about noon PST

My copy of the book is used but in fairly decent condition with a dust jacket. The bookmark is silver in color, has a green stone in the flower and is 3.5" long.

copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2012


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I loved this book Gina! Great review and thanks for being a part of banned book week!

Unknown said...

I've meant for too long to read about this book and see what it's about. Now, thanks to your wonderful post I know and definitely want to read this book! It seems that books about the life of a young person trying to get through the days coping with compromised circumstances because mom, dad or a sibling aren't functioning particularly well are banned. But these boks are someof the most important because they give people someone to identify with and more. It's just ridiculous.

Thank you for your great review of this book and for giving away your copy!
I am now a GFC follower of your blog!


In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Book Dragon's Lair. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won in some kind of contest, or received in exchange for an honest review.