According to The American Library Association, book banning is caused by one of three things. The material is considered to sexually explicit, the material had offensive language, or the material wasn’t appropriate for any age group. There are other minor reasons for banning books, but these are the main three key factors in a book’s banning.
Sherman Alexie’s novel is commonly banned because the book contains some sexual content that could be seen as now right for kids or some teens.
“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” tells the tale of a young Native American boy on a Native American reservation. Sherman Alexie tells this tale in a very real way, as if a 14 year old boy was actually telling you it, which means there are a few parts that could be considered explicit. Already there you have a flag. The tale tells a story about identity, loss, and hope. This book also contains some language that could be perceived as offensive to some people, but not all. Second flag. Lastly, the book tells the tale of a fourteen year old boy, who has dealt with the consequences of living on an Indian reservation. This book could seem unfitting to some age groups because the book talks about what could happen to many teens across America if they were in the same situation. Third Flag. As you can see, this book contains material that could lead to this book banned.
The book in my opinion should not be banned, as it tells a very real tale of Indian reservation life, and how it impacts children. The book does indeed contain some explicit words and/or actions, but as far as I can tell, none of these things really takes offense to any one person or group. An example of this is where Junior/Arnold talks about masturbation. This book also is trying to convey a message of hope, identity, and loss, which just happens to fit in perfectly with the reality of this book. An example of this would be when Junior/Arnold questions who he is in terms of race. Is Native American? Is he a Native American in the “White World?”
I think that just because this book contains a few parts that could be considered controversial, the book does not need to be banned, as it tells a very important and real tale.
In conclusion, the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” contains some deep messages and some explicit content, but I personally don’t think that it is enough to consider this book “banned.” This book is very realistic to teens, and teaches them and adults what can happen if teens are grown up with the wrong people, doing the wrong things. I won’t tell you how to think about this subject, but just think about what I’ve written about before you make any assumptions about this book. Lastly, I want to say that above all else, in my opinion, this is a great book, and definitely deserves to be read by teens across the nation.