The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

absolutelytruediaryThe first day of school. Geometry Class. Arnold Spirit, also known as Junior, gets the Geometry book he is going to be using for the year. Inside the front cover it says:


He gets so mad that before he knows it, he throws the book at his teacher’s head. This is his depiction in a cartoon that drew. Why did he do it? Agnes Adams was his mother’s maiden name. His school on the Indian reservation where he lives is so poor that they have used the same textbook for at least the last 30 years.

Let me introduce to Arnold by reading you some of his diary:

Read first diary entry.

Arnold gets suspended for a week for throwing the book. When the same teacher shows up at his house that week, he thinks maybe the guy has come to throw a book at him too. Or at least to yell at him. But instead he offers Arnold a chance to attend the school in Reardon, the rich, white town near the reservation. It’s a great opportunity for him. He will get an excellent education and it may be his chance to achieve his dreams.

But when he starts school at Reardon, it’s obvious he is not welcome by everyone. He tells us there is only one other Indian at the school—the school mascot. The other kids are afraid of him, some call him names.

When he gets home, his best friend Rowdy and others, think he is a traitor for leaving the reservation.

This diary is about what happens next. Falling in love, playing basketball, trying to fit in and not get beat up. At school and at home.



Leave a Reply