81 pages 2 hours read

Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2007

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

After Reading

Discussion/Analysis Prompt

Both Mary and Junior are interested in telling their own stories, but only Junior seems to fully succeed. What does the inclusion of Mary’s character in this novel communicate to the reader about Art, Hope, and the Power of Storytelling?

  • Why do both Mary and Junior want to tell their stories? Why is it important for people to be able to tell their own stories instead of having others tell them?
  • What advantages does Junior seem to have that allow him to be more successful in using his storytelling to understand himself and his world? Are these advantages due to his personal characteristics, his circumstances, or both?

Teaching Suggestion: This question asks students to consider Alexie’s purpose in creating the character of Mary, who has similar needs to Junior’s and tries a similar strategy to get some of these needs met, but is ultimately less successful. Advanced students may quickly understand that the novel emphasizes the importance of storytelling; the bulleted guide questions that follow the main prompt can be used to encourage them to consider more nuanced aspects of the prompt.

Differentiation Suggestion: In order to effectively answer this question, students will need to understand the similarities and differences between the two characters and their experiences in life.