Thursday, September 28, 2017

Banned Book Week: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Since it's publication The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been challenge, banned and removed from required reading lists multiple times every year. The most common reason is the profanity and vulgarity as well as racism.  

Read for: Banned Book Week/ Audio Book Challenge

Synopsis: "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 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.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike."

My Review: I have been meaning to read this book for quite some time and finally had the chance this year. It was an interesting book that not only tackles the subjects of race, poverty and bullying but also about striving beyond your current situation to improve your own life. When I first started listening to this book I wasn't sure how I was going to like it, the beginning was rather woe is me and I am not a fan of books that try to make you feel bad for the character. With that said it quickly captured my attention as the story continued and Junior sought to put the worst behind him and dared to dream of a better future, or a future at all. There was a lot of profanity and vulgarity but it really lent Junior's voice, made it rather authentic for a young teen boy. It may not have been my favorite book but it did a great job of getting it's message across.

My Rating: This was an interesting read though it didn't really end up appealing to me all that much but I am glad I took the time to read it.  The voice really came through strong and clear and will really appeal to young teen/middle grade boys.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I have to admit that I was slightly shocked at the amount of vulgar language throughout this book and I can understand why some parents would find it to be inappropriate.  However, it does still have a purpose, the overall message of the book is to push beyond what life has handed you and to seek your dreams and desires.  I also believe that there is nothing worse than what a teenager would have already come across in their own daily lives.  As said yesterday with my review of Ban this Book, no one should say what you can and cannot read other than your parents. So folks, if you don't want your kid reading this, then make sure you are aware and having open conversations with your own child!


  1. This one has been sitting unread on my shelf for ages. I'm not in a huge rush to read it (obviously) but I still plan on reading it one day.

    1. It is good to read for a reason but maybe not just to pick up for the pleasure of it.