Literature Circle Digital Poster.

By: Zoe Hunter

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Summary about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is about a teenage Indian boy named Arnold Spirit who lives on a reservation and must try to save himself from becoming a failure.

The book starts out with him telling the reader about how he was born upon an Indian Reservation doomed with hydrocephalus, or (water on the brain). He was going to die during the surgery where they vacuum out the water, but survived, with many physical deformations. He had forty-two teeth instead of thirty-two, one eye near-sighted and the other far-sighted, and a giant skull to big for his own body. He also says that he used to have seizures, but no more.

Because of his many differences, many kids bully him. Not to mention his stutter and lisp don't help either. "Everybody on the rez calls me a retard twice a day." (Page 5), "The bullies would pick me up, spin me in circles, put their finger on my skull, and say, 'I want to go there'." (Page 3).

While he suffers around his reservation and school, he often suffers at home too. His parents are very poor. Poor to the point where they can't even provide food for themselves and go to sleep hungry. Every one the rez is poor, even the school. When Junior got his geometry textbook he became very angry because he discovered his mother’s maiden name within it and threw it at his teacher’s nose and broke it. This got him suspended and brought forth is new journey.

Mr. P, his geometry teacher, came to him while he was sitting on his porch, and urged him to change his future so he doesn't become a failure. Junior then decides to go to a school with plenty of hope and success. Reardan High is a school filled with many racists and no Indians at all. The people at this school either bully or ignore him, but he soon makes friends who help him out, and he even hooks up with a girl named Penelope. They help him out with his various problems and even stick up for him in the end.

Eventually everyone learns to like him. And eventually the Rez leaves him alone after his grandmother and sister pass away. All turns well for Junior, and on his Summer break he makes a new friendship with Rowdy. Him and Rowdy now hang out like they used to, and end the book by accepting their differences and playing a round of basketball with no score.

Character Analysis- Junior Spirit.

Junior is a very lanky and weak kid. He was born with hydrocephalus and was meant to die. He did not, but still had many physical problems. Ten extra teeth, one eye near-sighted and the other far-sighted, a large head, and past seizures. He also has a stutter and a lisp resulting in bullying from other kids. "Everybody on the rez calls me a retard twice a day." (Page 5), "The bullies would pick me up, spin me in circles, put their finger on my skull, and say, 'I want to go there'." (Page 3). Although he is like this, he still has that "smart alack" personality. Just like any other fourteen-year-old boy, he likes to quip others with the occasional dirty joke and smart response. He swears A LOT. Its everywhere, like it the same wrong colored stitching mapped into a pattern on a ruined quilt.

Despite being like this he still makes friends, and maintains hope. He doesn't let others get in his way, is quite a dreamer, and tries his best.

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Character Conflict- Character Vs. Society.

Its pretty obvious Junior faces a lot of pressure from both his tribe and his new school hating him. The whole book is about him trying to fit in at a racist school while his own tribe thinks he is a traitor. "I was still the kid who betrayed his own tribe, and that couldn't be forgiven. But I was just a kid who had lost his grandmother. And everybody new that losing my grandmother was horrible. So they all waved the white flag that day and let me grieve in peace." (Page 159), They had been bullying him and harassing him. Calling him "apple" and things like that. He never really resolved it. He just learned to live with it. He beat them in a basketball game, and I guess they gave in.


A reader could learn many things from this book. It explains hardship, hope, fear, and racism. Sherman Alexie wants the reader to know that Junior is just a fourteen-year-old boy trying to live life to its expectations. He wants you to learn that the world isn't the greatest place for some people and that it can really effect your future and realization on life and its meaning.

Junior doesn't have a very good output on life because of how unfair it has been to him. He thinks of it and its inhibitors as unwilling, desperate, and depressing. But his view on all that changes later on in the book. It changes to willing, hopeful, and OK.

"I keep trying to find the little of joy in my life. That's the only way I managed to make it through all of that death and change." (Page 176). Hope is what kept him going, and it was something all the other Indians on his reservation have left. Just like Mr. P explained to him, he will become poor and drunk just like every other Indian on his rez unless he is willing to have hope and change his future.

Textual Evidence.

The one quote that really changed me was on page 176, and said: "I keep trying to find the little of joy in my life. That's the only way I managed to make it through all of that death and change.".

This really moved me because it shows that Junior really did maintain hope and he lets the reader know that even through the pain and misery he kept going, for his future. He really does want change.

There were a lot of words that made my skin crawl, inspired me, and angered me. From unheard of racial slurs, to nice vocabulary, and really rude insults, it moved me a lot.

Book Review.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian made me understand what life on some reservations is like for some kids. I didn't know how horrible the racism was. This really opened me up and made me feel emotions I never really felt in some novels. I would rate 4.5 stars since it is heavily filled with really bad swears and details about the human body most readers wouldn't want to hear about. The story was nonetheless 5 out of 5 stars since it is very emotional and shows much comedy despite dark parts. I would recommend it to mature readers. The topic of this book is about cultural differences and bullying.
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part time Indian Book Trailer


Picture Citations:

"4.5 Stars." Unknown, n.d. Web. 13 May 2016.

"Juniors Sketch of Himself and all his Glory." unknown, n.d.
Web. 13 May 2016. <

"Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian." unkown, n.d.
Web. 13 May 2016. <

Video Citation:

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part time Indian Book Trailer." Unknown, n.d. Web. 13 May 2016.