Idaho Students Get 700 Free Copies of Challenged Sherman Alexie Book

source: instagram.com/rediscoveredbooksHigh school junior Brady Kissel holding a copy of Sherman Alexie's 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

source: instagram.com/rediscoveredbooks
High school junior Brady Kissel holding a copy of Sherman Alexie’s ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

 

Indian Country Today Media Network

 

When it comes to banning books, it’s the same old story — tell someone they can’t read a text and you’ll just make them seek it out.

In Meridian, Idaho, parents succeeded in getting Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian removed from the curriculum of Mountain View High School. The book, published in 2007, won a National Book Award, but has become a frequent target of parents seeking to sanitize their children’s reading material because of some language and frank discussion of sexuality. In Meridian, some object to the book as anti-Christian as well.

The book is not “banned” per se, but “challenged” — it has been taken off the school reading list, but remains on the school library’s shelves, pending review.

Stacks of Alexie's book, which was handed out for free on World Book Night.
Stacks of Alexie’s book, which was handed out for free on World Book Night.

 

When Sara Baker, a student at the University of Washington, and her friend Jen Lott, learned that the book had been challenged, they decided to get involved. They started a page at GoFundMe.com to raise funds to purchase 350 copies of the book, which they planned to distribute for free to Meridian students. The campaign met its goal, and the books were purchased through Rediscovered Books, a bookstore in Boise. Brady Kissel, a junior  at Mountain View, spearheaded the plan to distribute them, and on the evening of April 23 — World Book Night — over 225 copies were handed out, and the rest went to Rediscovered Books, where they remained available for free.

Today, Rediscovered announced on its Facebook page that it had run out of books — but this isn’t over yet. Alexie’s publisher (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) donated another 350 copies, which are on their way.

Alexie himself weighed in on the matter, writing in a letter to his publisher, “I am honored by the hundreds of Meridian students who showed incredible passion and courage for books. 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.”

 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/04/29/idaho-students-get-700-free-copies-challenged-sherman-alexie-book-154659

Cherokee students receive 1,000 donated books from Chattanooga school

Oaks Mission sixth-graders stand with teacher Jerry Jackson outside the school with some of the books donated by East Brainerd Intermediate School in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Oaks Mission sixth-graders stand with teacher Jerry Jackson outside the school with some of the books donated by East Brainerd Intermediate School in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Source: The Cherokee Nation News

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Four elementary schools within the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdiction received more than 1,000 books earlier this month from Chattanooga, Tenn. fourth graders, who held a book drive after learning about the tribe’s history and removal on the Trail of Tears.

The East Brainerd Intermediate School students formed a project to honor about 16,000 Cherokees who 176 years ago made the 1,000-mile journey from the ancestral homeland to present-day Oklahoma. With help from their teacher, the students organized a school-wide book drive and then shipped 96 boxes of books to schools in the Cherokee Nation.

“I was touched that a group of young children would put together such a heartfelt service learning project,” said Shelley Butler-Allen, who manages the tribe’s Johnson O’Malley program and coordinated with East Brainerd school. “The generosity by the students in Chattanooga is truly admirable. Hundreds of students here in the Cherokee Nation will benefit from their good deed.”

A private shipping company in Chattanooga volunteered to deliver the books to Belfonte School in Sequoyah County, Bell School in Adair County, and Kenwood and Oaks Mission schools in Delaware County. The four schools have a high percentage of Native American students.

“They’re really polite to think of us and send us good books to read,” said Oaks sixth-grader Christian Sequichie.

Sequichie picked out a donated James Patterson novel to read since he had read two others in the series.

The schools are sorting through the books, which will then be used for classroom reading.

“It’s nice to see them get excited about paperbacks when we’re moving into a digital world,” Oaks Mission Counselor and Principal Barbara Tucker said. “The students will really enjoy these.”