MIAMI — Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” has one more stirred controversy from parents of students who were assigned the book as part of their studies.
Last summer the award-winning book was banned in New York City after parents complained.
“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2007 and was on the “New York Times” best-seller list.
The book is about a fictional character named Arnold Spirit, whose nickname is Junior, who transfers from a school located on the Spokane Indian Reservation to an almost all-Caucasian school.
In the book, Alexie, who is Spokane/Coer d’Alene, freely writes about topics about racism and sexuality.
These topics are what has caused the controversy at Miami’s Northwestern Senior High School.
“The contents of the book: sex, it spoke of masturbation, spoke of racism, just blatant throughout the entire book,’ said parent Edward Johnson to Miami’s NBC 6.
Johnson and another parent went to complain to Northwestern Senior High’s principal.
“I looked at the book and I said, ‘wow.’ So this should not be presented to young ladies or young men in the high school system,” continued Johnson.
“You try to find the best positive, if not role models, but the best literature for them to read, Some of the language in here is like gutter, what you would hear from guys talking on the corner or whatever – around strip clubs or whatever.”
Mr. Johnson even secured the services of an attorney who called on the Miami-Dade school board to notify parents in the future so something similar doesn’t happen again.
The Northwestern High School principal worked it out so that there was an alternative book to read to complete their assignment.
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