The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian

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Artist: Sherman Alexie

Year: 2009

Date of Action: June 2009

Region: North America

Location: Chicago, IL

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Violence

Medium: Literature

Confronting Bodies: Parents

Description of Artwork: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a 2007 novel for young adults written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney. The novel is a first-person narrative by Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a 14-year-old budding cartoonist. The book details Arnold's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his decision, upon encouragement from a reservation high school teacher, to go to an all-white public high school in the off-reservation town of Reardan, Washington. Junior traverses through the endemic alcoholism, poverty and hopelessness he sees on the reservation, as well as the bullies and racism he encounters at school.

The Incident: Parents of incoming freshmen at a Chicago high school were complaining about the English summer reading assigned in the curriculum: Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, book that narrates the "story of a 14-year-old American Indian who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school." The parents asking for the banning of the literary text have asked for this given that according to them the book uses "foul language and describes sexual acts" that they do not find suitable for their children.

Results of Incident: Parents of the freshmen want to make it a matter of putting labels in books just as they do in movies and music albums. The head of the school mentioned that if parents did not agree with the summer reading they’re kids were allowed to read the book DownRiver instead.

Source: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-06-22/news/0906210159_1_part-time-indian-absolutely-true-diary-ban




Artist: Sherman Alexie

Year: 2012

Date of Action: January 2012

Region: North America

Location: Yakima, Washington

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Youth, Violence, Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature

Confronting Bodies: Parents of West Valley School District

Description of Artwork: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a 2007 novel for young adults written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney. The novel is a first-person narrative by Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a 14-year-old budding cartoonist. The book details Arnold's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his decision, upon encouragement from a reservation high school teacher, to go to an all-white public high school in the off-reservation town of Reardan, Washington. Junior traverses through the endemic alcoholism, poverty and hopelessness he sees on the reservation, as well as the bullies and racism he encounters at school.

The Incident: Parents in the West Valley School District tried to remove Sherman Alexie's book from the high school English reading list.

Results of Incident: The West Valley School District Instructional Materials Committee voted to keep the book in the curriculum for upperclassmen, 11th- and 12th-graders.

Source: http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/latestlocalnews/646639-8/west-valley-parents-teachers-at-odds-over-young-adult




Artist: Sherman Alexie

Year: 2012

Date of Action: November, 11 2012

Region: North America

Location: Springfield, MA

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Youth

Medium: Literature

Confronting Bodies: Board Member, Antonette Pepe

Description of Artwork: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a 2007 novel for young adults written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney. The novel is a first-person narrative by Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a 14-year-old budding cartoonist. The book details Arnold's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his decision, upon encouragement from a reservation high school teacher, to go to an all-white public high school in the off-reservation town of Reardan, Washington. Junior traverses through the endemic alcoholism, poverty and hopelessness he sees on the reservation, as well as the bullies and racism he encounters at school.

The Incident: Due to profanity, school board member Antonette Pepe requested that The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian be removed from the Springfield school system's 10th grade curriculum.

Results of Incident: The book was not removed from the curriculum.

Source: http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/latestlocalnews/646639-8/west-valley-parents-teachers-at-odds-over-young-adult




Artist: Sherman Alexie

Year: 2013

Date of Action: August 2013

Region: North America

Location: Queens, New York

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Youth

Medium: Literature

Confronting Bodies: Public School 114 Rockaway, Queens

Description of Artwork: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a 2007 novel for young adults written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney. The novel is a first-person narrative by Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a 14-year-old budding cartoonist. The book details Arnold's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his decision, upon encouragement from a reservation high school teacher, to go to an all-white public high school in the off-reservation town of Reardan, Washington. Junior traverses through the endemic alcoholism, poverty and hopelessness he sees on the reservation, as well as the bullies and racism he encounters at school.

The Incident: Public School 114 in Rockaway, Queens seemed to have caved in to pressure from at least one angry parent and phone calls from the tabloid about the book. It was the book’s references to masturbation that irked one parent enough to protest the novel in its entirety.

Results of Incident: An alternate book to Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was thus offered to the middle school students to do for their summer reading.

Source: http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/08/new_york_school_bans_the_absolutely_true_diary_of_a_part-time_indian.html




Artist: Sherman Alexie

Year: 2013

Date of Action: November 12, 2013

Region: North America

Location: Billings, MT

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Violence, Youth

Medium: Literature

Confronting Bodies: Parents

Description of Artwork: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a 2007 novel for young adults written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney. The novel is a first-person narrative by Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a 14-year-old budding cartoonist. The book details Arnold's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his decision, upon encouragement from a reservation high school teacher, to go to an all-white public high school in the off-reservation town of Reardan, Washington. Junior traverses through the endemic alcoholism, poverty and hopelessness he sees on the reservation, as well as the bullies and racism he encounters at school.

The Incident: The Billings, Montana Helena School District complained that the novel was too inappropriately sexual for high school students and was an inaccurate depiction of the lives of Native Americans, and therefore wanted the novel removed from the curriculum.

Results of Incident: In the spirit of opposition that the nation expressed in response to the complaining parent's request for the book to be removed from the school district, a review committee in the school district has agreed to deny the parent's plea. Thus, Sherman Alexie's novel will be kept in Helena School district schools in support of the high school English curriculum.

Source: http://helenair.com/news/article_02cc1a9a-2f66-11e0-a93b-001cc4c03286.html




Artist: Sherman Alexie

Year: 2014

Date of Action: June 2014

Region: North America

Location: Brunswick County, NC

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Violence, Youth

Medium: Literature

Confronting Bodies: Grandmother, Frankie Wood

Description of Artwork: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a 2007 novel for young adults written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney. The novel is a first-person narrative by Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a 14-year-old budding cartoonist. The book details Arnold's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his decision, upon encouragement from a reservation high school teacher, to go to an all-white public high school in the off-reservation town of Reardan, Washington. Junior traverses through the endemic alcoholism, poverty and hopelessness he sees on the reservation, as well as the bullies and racism he encounters at school.

The Incident: The book is being challenged in Brunswick County schools by Frankie Wood, a great-grandmother who has no children in the schools but objects with the content of the book. She began a petition in several churches to remove the book from classrooms and school libraries stating that the language in the text was undesirable and that she objected with references to masturbation.

Results of Incident: Ms. Wood was invited to speak at the school board meeting on June 3, 2014. She stated that upon speaking with the Superintendent Edward Pruden she was discouraged about moving forward because the defeat of The Color Purple months earlier. The case is still ongoing.

Source: http://cbldf.org/2014/06/north-carolina-woman-challenges-disgusting-absolutely-true-diary/