It looks like we have a lot of reasons to celebrate! One of my favorite novels for boys is Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Click here to see my review.
It seems that Antioch Community High School included this fantastic novel on the school’s summer reading list. Apparently “a group of parents” (there were 7 of them) demanded that this incredibly authentic book be removed from the reading list for incoming freshman, stating the inappropriateness of racist language, graphic sexual descriptions and more.
What about the content the parents objected to? Racist language? You bet. But so is our society. Graphic descriptions of a sexual nature? Yep. But anyone who thinks that teenage boys don’t tell raunchy jokes must not really know any teenage boys.
This book is fantastic because it is real. The kids sound like real kids (teens, not ten-year-olds). The society it depicts may not be ideal, but it is real and the book can help empower kids who have to live in it.
What about the kids at Antioch Community High School? The school is in a predominantly lower-class area. These kids may not know life on the rez but they’ll sure recognize elements of it and this book can help them cope. It can help them understand the struggles they see around them every day.
Although the superintendant and school board provided an alternate title, they refused to remove the book from the list. Hats off and cheers for Superintendent Jay Sabatino and the 17 member School Board for standing firm and tall.
See the full story here.