Friday, April 4, 2014

The Absolutely True Diary of Real-Time Book Censorship (Reblogged) #YA #CensorshipSucks #ASMSG

Surfing through Digital Book World's newsletter - which I do every morning - I came across this fascinating article about censorship in progress, happening right this moment, with a certain controversial Young Adult novel. Why would this matter to me?  I also happen to have written a somewhat controversial Young Adult novel.

Here's the original article I snagged:

The Absolutely True Diary of Real-Time Book Censorship

Another day, another attempted book banning.
In February 2014, a grandparent in Meridian, Idaho filed a formal complaint with the school district against including Sherman Alexie’s multiple-award winning YA novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in curriculum being taught to sophomores in a public high school. (The grandparent apparently took issue with the “cursing and sexual references” in Alexie’s highly acclaimed story about the life of a modern Native American teen.)
The complaint led to a public meeting of the school board on April 1st to discuss the issue and ultimately vote on whether or not to keep the book, which has been on “hold” since February, as part of the school’s supplemental curriculum.
This is not the first time Alexie’s work has been on the chopping block (you can read just a couple of examples here and here), and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but it IS the first time I saw with my very own eyes this kind of book censorship unfold in real time – thanks to a librarian on Twitter who believes in the power of public discourse.
Gretchen Caserotti, a public library director in Meridian, attended the meeting and tweeted the proceedings as they occurred. The result is (in my opinion) a fascinating and chilling snapshot of the decisions that go into the attempted banning of a book and an important exhibition of the kinds of problems that librarians, teachers, and others face when fighting censorship.
My thanks to Gretchen for allowing me to compile and post her tweets about the meeting. Here they are in order (I also suggest that you view her timeline from that night for yourself for the most complete picture possible):

About Rita Meade

Rita Meade is a public librarian in Brooklyn, NY. She blogs about the more interesting parts of her job at, and she can be found on Twitter @ScrewyDecimal.

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