Lit. Circle Smore

By Donald Hughell

T.A.T.D.O.A.P.T.I. Book Summary

This book chronicles the story of Arnold Spirit Junior, a 14 year old Native American who lives on an impoverished Indian Reservation. After a talk with a his teacher, whose nose was the target of a certain someones textbook, he realized that the reservation wasn't for him and that he, and most everyone else, deserved much better. He would transfer to Reardan, a small, all white school off of the reservation. Due to the tranfer though, he would lose his best, and only, friend, Rowdy. In his early days here, he is the target of racism from anyone ranging from the teachers to his fellow classmates. Arnold would challenge what his grandmother calls, "The Alpha," and would earn his respect after punching him in the nose. After this, he would go on take make many friends, like Gordy, and his girlfriends Penelope. In the end, it all came down to a basketball game. Reardan versus the Reservation. Reardan would win the game, but further the distance between friendship among the Whites and the Indians, except for Arnold. After giving him the cod shoulder nearly the entire length of the book, Rowdy drops the act and our main character and Rowdy become the best friends once more, and over a basketball game of all things.

Character Analysis: Arnold Spirit Jr.

Arnold Spirit Jr. is a 14 year old Native American boy. He was born with a brain problem, and so he has some minor deformities. His hands, feet, and head are slightly larger than that of the average person. He wears thick, black rimmed glasses, not only because he is both near and far sighted at the same time, they match his hair.

Junior, as he is known as on the rez, starts off as a sad, hopeless Indian boy. He feels that because he lives in poverty and because he is Indian, that he can't have a good life, and neither can anyone else on the reservation. After hitting his teacher in the face with a book though, the teacher comes and gives Arnold a lecture on how he can be destined for greater things, and that he shouldn't give up hope. This is why he transferred to Reardan.

Throughout the story Arnold will go through depression because it seems that those he loves most keep dying. He shows he has the strength to overcome all of that though, and live his life happily, as seen when he and Rowdy become friends again at the the end of the story.

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Theme

The theme of this book is "Stay true to who you are." I feel like this is an appropriate theme because throughout the story, Arnold is trying to figure out who he is. He's always asking himself, "Am I an Indian? Am I white? Am I both?" and eventually, he figures it out. He is both, but not either. He displays qualities of both, and yet he doesn't fall into either category society has created. He is who he is and he's proud of it, and so are his friends and family.

Book Review

I would rate this book a 4/5. I would give it this rating because of the deeper meaning it carries and because it is easy to read, as it supposed to be like Arnold's diary. The book is humorous and can be read by just about anyone, but many jokes will fly right over the heads of some younger readers. It's missing a single star do to the sole reason that realistic fiction isn't really my favorite genre to read, other than that though, it was very well written and I encourage everybody else to read it.

Textual Evidence

My favorite quote from my book was, "I realized that, sure, I was a Spokane Indian. I belonged to that tribe. But I also belonged to the tribe of American Immigrants. And to the tribe of basketball players. And to the tribe of bookworms." and the rest of the lost that follows.

I enjoy this quote so much because it shows that you aren't limited to one thing, one group, one helping of pie. You can have multiple friends, be in multiple groups, eat multiple helpings of pie. It serves as a reminder to me, and hopefully others that read it, that you are you, you are unique, and you shouldn't be limited in your interests. I also like it because it ties into my theme

Multi-Media Sources

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian Trailer (2013)

Citations

Alexie, Sherman, and Ellen Forney. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. New York: Little, Brown, 2007. Print.


The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian Cover. Digital image.Http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327908992l/693208.jpg. Goodreads.com, 12 Sept. 2007. Web. 13 May 2016.


Http://theabsolutelytruediaryofapart-timeindian--byshermanalexie.wikispaces.com/file/view/lro%5B1%5D.jpg/113152055/496x378/lro%5B1%5D.jpg. Digital image.Http://theabsolutelytruediaryofapart-timeindian--byshermanalexie.wikispaces.com/. N.p., 6 Jan. 2010. Web. 13 May 2016.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian Trailer (2013). Perf. Not Specified. Youtube.com. Ryan Hopkinson, 21 May 2013. Web. 13 May 2016.


Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Home Quotes." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 13 May 2016.

Barcott, Bruce. "Off the Rez." The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Nov. 2007. Web. 13 May 2016.