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

Available At: Electronic, Aspen Valley JH, Aspen Valley (HS), Challenger, Chinook Trail (MS), DCC (HS), DCC (MS), Eagleview, Liberty, Mountain Ridge, Pine Creek, Rampart, Timberview

Categories: Racism, Sexual

Description: The Absolutely True Diary of a Parat-Time Indian is a first-person narrative novel by Sherman Alexie, from the perspective of a Native American teenager, Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as “Junior”, a 14-year-old promising cartoonist.

YA Label?: Yes

Notes: The book is gritty and has often been banned for its mature content. The main character enjoys masturbation and describes how he does it and how much he enjoys it.The main character describes an erection he gets while hugging a school counselor. The main character enjoys looking at magazines with nude pictures. People are burned alive. A man is shot in the face. There is alcohol abuse. The author was accused of sexual harassment in 2018 and has not denied the charges.

Violations (Miller Test [MT] & Colorado Obscenity Test [CD])

The above scale indicates whether, in our view, the referenced book violates established and upheld Federal (Miller Test) and State (Colorado Obscenity Test) standards. Books that violate ALL established standards will have a table printed in red. Under Colorado Law, willful distribution of such material is deemed a Class 6 penalty carrying a fine and/or up to 18 months in prison.


Page 37: “I like girls and their curves. And I really like women and their curvier curves. I spend hours in the bathroom with a magazine that has one thousand pictures of naked movie stars: Naked woman + right hand = happy happy joy joy. Yep, that’s right, I admit that I masturbate,”

Page 64: “’Did you know that Indians are living proof that niggers fuck buffalo?’ I felt like Roger had kicked me in the face. That was the most racist thing I’d ever heard in my life.”

Page 119: [The illustration on this page depicts to young men talking to each other] “Did you just say books should give me a boner?”

Page 135: “Kid, if you get my daughter pregnant, if you make some charcoal babies, I’m going to disown her…”

Page 201: “She hugged me hard. And I have to admit that it felt pretty dang good. Miss Warren was, like, fifty years old, but she was still pretty hot. She was all skinny and muscular because she jogged all the time. So I sort of, er, physically reacted to her hug. And the thing is, Miss Warren was hugging me so tight that I was pretty sure she could feel my, er, physical reaction.”

Additional Snippets Here