Banned Books Week is a few months away, but in Meridian, Idaho, discussions have been going strong recently about what qualifies as appropriate reading. When Sherman Alexie’s book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was removed from the 10th-grade reading list by the school board there, hundreds of students signed a petition protesting the action. On top of that, funds were raised to distribute hundreds of the books for free on World Book Night last week and Sherman Alexie’s publisher even donated copies of the book.
Demonstrating the lengths to which some people are willing to go to prevent teenagers from reading the word “boner,” someone got the idea to call the police to prevent kids from picking up the book at the park where it was being given away. Fortunately, the police showed some good sense, said that they found nothing wrong with what was going on in the park, and let the book giveaway continued unimpeded. Hats off to the Meridian Police for being good sports on this one.
Incidentally, Alexie’s book is number 3 on the American Library Association’s list of banned books for 2013. For a good laugh, glance through the lists of recent years for such examples of corrupting literature as To Kill a Mockingbird, Twilight, and The Hunger Games.