"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, Chapters 8–14

Junior, a young cartoonist who lives on the Spokane Indian reservation, decides to transfer to school in which he will be the only American Indian student.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–7, Chapters 8–14, Chapters 15–21, Chapters 22–26, Chapters 27–29

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. pummel
    strike, usually with the fist
    I would have been pummeled.
  2. mutilated
    having a part of the body crippled or disabled
  3. stroll
    walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
    And pretty soon, a janitor opened the front door and all of the other kids strolled inside.
  4. hustle
    move or cause to move energetically or busily
    I shoved the paperwork into my backpack and hustled down to my homeroom.
  5. erect
    upright in position or posture
    I was emotionally erect.
  6. stutter
    a speech disorder involving hesitations and repetitions
    And yes, I had that stutter and lisp, but I also had that singsong reservation accent that made everything I said sound like a bad poem.
  7. bureau
    an administrative unit of government
  8. squaw
    an American Indian woman
    But I knew I’d have to put a stop to it eventually or I’d always be known as “Chief” or “Tonto” or “ Squaw Boy.”
  9. metaphor
    a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity
    And I don’t mean “kill” as in “ metaphor.”
  10. strut
    walk with a lofty proud gait
    Roger the Giant and his gang of giants strutted over to me.
  11. rowdy
    a cruel and brutal fellow
    I realized how much of my self-worth, my sense of safety, was based on Rowdy’s fists.
  12. impending
    close in time; about to occur
    I couldn’t sleep that night because I kept thinking about my impending doom.
  13. rummage
    search haphazardly
    I got out of bed at dark-thirty, and rummaged around the kitchen for anything to eat.
  14. uninterested
    having no care or curiosity in knowing
    She was out of my league, and even though I was only twelve, I knew that I’d be one of those guys who always fell in love with the unreachable, ungettable, and uninterested.
  15. zilch
    a quantity of no importance
  16. petrify
    change into stone
    In geology class, the teacher, Mr. Dodge, was talking about the petrified wood forests near George, Washington, on the Columbia River, and how it was pretty amazing that wood could turn into rock.
  17. articulate
    characterized by clear expressive language
    Yeah, I was so articulate.
  18. contradict
    be in opposition to
    They couldn’t believe that I was contradicting a teacher.
  19. snicker
    laugh quietly
    My classmates snickered.
  20. delirious
    marked by uncontrolled excitement or emotion
    We should have all been delirious that she’d moved out of the basement.
  21. tautology
    a statement that is necessarily true
    “Are you going to bore me with your tautologies all day or are you going to actually say something?”
  22. illiterate
    not able to read or write
    I couldn’t ask Gordy because then he’d know I was an illiterate Indian idiot.
  23. dilate
    become wider
    “Because your eyes dilated, your breathing rate increased a little bit, and you started to sweat.”
  24. redundancy
    repetition of an act needlessly
    “It’s a redundancy.”
  25. secede
    withdraw from an organization or polity
    One of those towns, called Poison, tried to secede (that means quit, I looked it up) from the rez.

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