If number of challenges are a marker of the serious themes of a book, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is worthy of close attention as one of the top ten most challenged books of all time. The novel features a teenager born with disabilities including encephalitis, who has grown up on a reservation in Spokane, Washington. Fourteen-year-old Arnold, or “Junior” is a cartoonist and book worm with a fiercely protective best friend, Rowdy. Soon after they start freshman year, Junior transfers from a school on the “rez” to one in a small white town, 22 miles away. Although his parents support his decision, everyone else on the rez sees him as a traitor. Throughout the book, Junior struggles with questions about community and identity. He is determined to improve himself and overcome poverty despite the challenges of birth and race. Cartoons and dark humor illuminate the serious themes of the book in a way that even the most reluctant readers can connect with and enjoy.
Three books were removed from the Raymond School Library (WI): All American Boys by Jason Reymonds, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Get them back on the shelves by voting this spring in the school board elections.
The battle over what to call the second Monday in October, Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day, has been long standing and bitter. Today is a day that celebrates heritage: the heritage of Indigenous nations and also the heritage of Italian-Americans. That being said, Indigenous authors have been consistently under fire and that is what I would like to focus on today.
The State of America’s Libraries 2019 report includes a snapshot of censorship in libraries, schools and universities; who initiates challenges, where are they taking place, and what are the reasons?
Part of the Librarians Lead Against Censorship blog series. The Sauk Prairie High School Librarian, Lynn Evarts, remained very close to the situation throughout its unfolding and provided key leadership to the community on the matter. For her efforts, Evarts, plus her colleagues, earned the 2017 Lee Burress Intellectual Freedom Award from the Wisconsin Council of English Teachers.
Meridian School District pulls Looking for Alaska from middle school libraries; The fallout from Florida’s school censorship law; What is access without equity?
Drag queens, late fees, Sherman Alexie and Net Neutrality
It seems the upper Midwest has a problem with Sherman Alexie. Within one month, his 2007 novel ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ has been challenged in two school districts.