Book Review: The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian
Written by Sherman Alexie
Reviewed by Jovaughn Lane, age 14
Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, is
about a 14-year-old Native American boy named Arnold Spirit. Arnold is
also known as Junior. He lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation in the
state of Washington.
On the reservation Junior encounters many
problems including poverty, violence, and alcohol. After he talks to one
of his high school teachers, he makes the decision to leave the
reservation and go to an all-white school called Reardan. He hopes to
have a more successful future.
When he first arrives at his new
school, he again encounters problems. This time his problems involve
bullying and just fitting in. Junior is the only Native American student
at the school.
Back on the reservation, things are going bad
too. Junior’s best friend Rowdy decides to stop associating with him,
after they get into a fight. Rowdy feels like Junior is a big traitor
because he is leaving the ways of the reservation to go to an all-white
school. Just as it seems as his whole life is about to go down the
Back at school, Junior tries out for the basketball team
and makes varsity. He starts to make friends. His school becomes a place
where Junior finds opportunities for his future. He also learns to
appreciate his heritage and understand what it means to be a “part-time
The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian is a
very humorous and intriguing book. It shows real life situations such as
bullying, prejudices, and poverty. The author pulls the reader into the
story with his humorous yet serious writing style. I found Sherman
Alexie’s storytelling ability amazing. Also on most pages there are
cartoons that are quite funny and they fit greatly with the book.
I recommend this book to middle and high school students. It’s a very fun and interesting read.