Big Impact
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Letter to a friend

Dear Mateo,

Man life has been a dream recently, occasionally it gets a little boring, but I couldn’t really ask for anything better during the school year. Classes are going great, I completed my SSAT and lacrosse is going amazing. I haven’t seen you since you moved to Minnesota at the beginning of this year, how is everything going? I saw the pictures of your house that you sent me, they look dope! That’s actually so sick that you have a lake in your backyard, man I would go swimming in it with my boys so much bro. How is football going for you? I saw that you posted on IG and you are playing middle linebacker, looks dope. Glad I’m not on the other side of the ball when you’re on defense! Also, I’m reading this book in English class that is sick.

The book is called The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Basically it’s set in an Indian Reservation in Spokane Washington. The main character is Junior, he is a freshman in high school. His sister ran away to find love, his dad is drunk most of the time, and his mom is very caring. His family is super poor. He transferred schools away from one of the more poor schools in the rez, to one of the more financially stable schools that is mostly white. He is getting a ton of backlash, from his people in the rez for going to a different school. The author is actually not too descriptive in vocabulary but still gets his point across with words. When reading the book you can like really tell how Junior is feeling every day. Some of the main themes of the book are love, respect and facing adversity. Oh, I forgot to mention that Junior has like a crap ton of deformities and disabilities. So the main theme of the book is just how he overcomes all of his social challenges and faces a ton of adversity.


This book is so far really fun to read. To be honest, it makes it a lot easier and more fun for me to read because Junior has an interest in basketball. Although, our English teacher is making us write down lots of notes, and the themes of chapters, which is kind of making the experience less enjoyable. It’s still a great book, and lots of fun to read, but it would definitely be much more fun for me to read it without having to take notes and write themes and find quotes.


One major theme of the book is overcoming adversity. Because Junior has a lot of deformities and differences, he has to overcome a TON of adversity, also with the fact that he moved away from the rez to go to school makes it twice as bad. This quote is when Arnold walks into the gym at the rez to play his hometown team;

“The rez basketball fans were chanting, “Ar-nold sucks! Ar-nold sucks! Ar-nold sucks!”

They were all terrible to him because they view him as a traitor. The following quotes also come from the scene where Junior was playing against his hometown team.

“And as I ran onto the court, somebody in the crowd threw a quarter at me. AND HIT ME IN THE FRICKING FOREHEAD!”


“I jumped into the air, heard the curses of two hundred Spokanes, and then saw only a bright light as Rowdy smashed his elbow into my head and knocked me unconscious.”

These quotes really show how much adversity he faces and has to overcome, it is a really inspirational story about a kid who is a big underdog, who I have a feeling, will eventually end up on top.


Anyway Mateo, I hope everything has been going amazing for you in Minnesota. I know everything is going amazing for me right now in Sudbury! Wheeling and dealing baby you know the vibes! Love you bro.



William Donald OBrien


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