The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian

Chloe Eckert, Journalism I Student

When I was young, I read a few issues from Dork Diaries and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. Both shared the
same concept of what an average middle schooler’s diary might look like. Having annoying siblings,
having crushes, and the day-to-day struggles in school are to name a few. But one book I read stood
completely out from them.
In Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian, we experience the life of 14 year
old Arnold Spirit Jr., a Native American living in the Spokane Indian Reservation, who faces many
challenges throughout his childhood and on his way to middle school. His life is completely changed
when he goes to an all-white school in Rearden and makes it for their basketball team, causing him to
lose his best friend. Overtime as the year gets more difficult for Arnold, he learns more about himself,
his town, and his hopes for the future.
I like how realistic the books is, as if I was reading the diary of a real person. The writing fully expresses
how Arnold feels in his current situation and even with fewer illustrations, the drawings can also help a
lot in what he is saying. There are some parts where it could get a little too real, like an alcoholic
depressed father, or the losses of loved ones, but readers can still understand and even relate to the
(The other thing I almost forgot to mention was the racial discrimination against Arnold his first days in
Reardan, since like I said, Arnold went to an all-white school. Every day people are judged, bullied, and
even harassed, based from their nationality, and it’s nice to see a book spread some light on that.)
I don’t think I’ve felt bad for any character the same way I felt bad for Arnold. I actually wished I could’ve
hugged him near the end of the story.
Even though the book has been banned in many schools for its list of mature and subliminal content, I
personally think that you should try to find the book at a nearby public library or online if you haven’t
read it yet. It can teach many lessons about change, acceptance, and life itself. Everyone goes through
difficult things in life and may want to forget them, but it’s important to learn from them, for they’ll be
crucial as you go on. Sometimes, letting go completely is necessary, otherwise it would negatively affect
I don’t have anything I’d want to change in the book. Alexie did a great job capturing the reality of
someone who doesn’t have the ‘perfect life’ and goes through more than any middle schooler should
experience at a young age.