September 17, 2007

Absolutely True Diary to be banned?

Books:  Straight shooter

A teen boy on the Spokane Indian Reservation, beset by health problems and poverty issues, decides to attend school off the reservation, earning the enmity of his peers.[H]ere is an utterly authentic voice, speaking directly and honestly and uproariously to me and you and your kids.

Which is why I worry about this book, as does writer Neil Gaiman, who speculates that "no doubt in a year or so it'll both be winning awards and being banned." Alexie portrays the reality of Junior's world in full color and colorful language, in the bathroom and out. Young people entering high school who need this book--who will see their anxieties mirrored no matter rich or poor, but the poor even more so--may well be the ones school administrators attempt to shield, just as "Catcher in the Rye" is banned in some schools to this day.

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