Sometimes, book banning is as simple as:
- Parent complains to school board about book (offending excerpts in hand).
- School board member agrees book is “inappropriate.”
- Good-bye, good literature.
The Crook County School Board in Prineville, Oregon, did just that with nationally-renowned author Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award-winning young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The book was assigned for ninth grade English classes. Now, it’s banned.
The Bend Bulletin covered the story and quoted Sherman Alexie:
Everything in the book is what every kid in that school is dealing with on a daily basis, whether it’s masturbation or racism or sexism or the complications of being human. … To pretend that kids aren’t dealing with this on an hour-by-hour basis is a form of denial. … The book is incredibly positive about the world we live in, and people from vastly different politics and groups end up being friends. … If they read the book, it’s a celebration of the values of what they (parents who oppose the book) hold dear.