I found reading the following headline so disheartening!! I came across an article on The Christian Science Monitor titled World Book Night: cops are called as Idaho teen hands out challenged book by Molly Driscoll.... I simply had to read the article to see why the cops were called in while a teenager hands out a book to read on World Book Night.... And, of course, to read which challenged book was causing such a stir that police arrived on the scene!
Seriously, after reading Molly Driscoll's article, I still can't believe the police were called to the scene! Basically, a teenager named, Brady Kissel, along with a couple of bookstore employees passed out copies of 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' by Sherman Alexie at a high school in Idaho on World Book Night. Essentially, 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' by Sherman Alexie had been removed from the school's reading list because parents had complained about the book.
So, when Brady Kissel and a couple of bookstore employees passed out copies of 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' by Sherman Alexie on World Book Night to other students, "police arrived at Kleiner Park, saying someone had called them, worried that young people were getting copies of the book without having permission from a parent."
Gawd, I'm rolling my eyes here... I'm an adult in my 40s and I've read 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' by Sherman Alexie. 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' is awesome and I can't believe parents have an issue with this book. If I had a teenager in high school, I'd have no problem whatsoever with letting them read 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian'.
I believe in the freedom to read books without censorship. We live in the land of the free for goodness sake. Everyone, including our children, has the right to read books and other printed material without censorship. This banning and challenging of books is out of control and needs to stop.
However, there is some good news to share here. In Molly Driscoll's article, she writes the following:
However, after talking with Kissel, police “said they found nothing wrong with what was going on in the park,” according to Shelf Awareness.
The books that weren’t given away on April 23 were stored at Rediscovered Books for students and “Diary” publisher Little, Brown has said it is donating another 350 books. According to Rediscovered Books, those copies will be given to local libraries, school libraries, and teachers who are in need of more copies.
Laura “Wally” Johnson, one of the bookstore workers who handed out copies of “Diary” with Kissel, told Publishers Weekly that her time doing so “was a fantastic experience with a warm and enthusiastic atmosphere and a steady stream of polite and engaged young adults.”
“We got to have a lot of conversations with students about the history of censorship and book banning and we got to talk a lot about World Book Night,” she said.
Alexie himself praised the efforts of those involved, particularly Baker and Lott, to get copies of "Diary" to students.
"I am honored by the hundreds of Meridian students who showed incredible passion and courage for books,” he said, according to Publishers Weekly. “Mine, yes, but literature in general. And Sara Baker and Jennifer Lott are friggin’ superheroes. If I ever get caught in a fire, I’m calling them."
"Diary" placed at number three on the American Library Association's list of most-banned or -challenged books in 2013.
Yes, you have to love a happy ending to a story!!