Absolutely True Diary removed from high school reading list

Monday, June 20, 2011

Freshmen — and older students, for that matter — in a Washington state school district won’t be reading Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian as part of the curriculum. After receiving a mixed recommendation from the school district’s Instructional Materials Committee, the Richland School Board voted 3-2 last week to remove the book because of profanity and sex scenes. The Tri-City Herald’s Jacques von Lunen reported that “the original question before the board was whether to use the book in freshman classes. But the final vote took it away from all students.” As of today, the National Book Award winning title was available through the Richland High School Library.

Earlier this year, the newspaper reported, the school board turned back a parent’s bid to remove David Guterson’s novel Snow Falling on Cedars from honors English classes in the district’s high schools.