The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Overall, I was very impressed with this book and thought it was great read. Junior’s story shown a light on reservations and more modern Indian culture that I think a lot of students would miss out on otherwise. HIs life in general is something that ALL students can relate to, and I think that’s why they would really love this book. He is talking like any other kid, with everything exposed and honest.

I would be completely okay with having this book available in a high school library/classroom, but I’m not so sure about middle school. I’ve seen middle schoolers read a book with one cuss word or sexual reference and they eat it up: showing all their friends, re-reading it, saying it out loud since “its okay because its in the book.” Maybe I’m too modest, but I feel like if I was a parent, I wouldn’t want my middle school child reading this. We censor books like these to try to protect kids from what we think they can’t handle or what may just simply be inappropriate for their age group. But how do we know what they can and cannot handle? Who gets to make the final judgment call? This is where all the controversy comes into play, and I have definitely have trouble myself deciding what to think of censoring/banning books. For this specific book, I would be more prone to recommend it to parents and have them decide if its a good book for their child, rather than me directly recommending it to the child. 

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One thought on “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

  1. I really appreciate seeing you wrestle with these ideas. It is not an easy decision with many of these books. You are pulling together many influences – parents, educators, and the child themselves. Who decides what is right or wrong for them? It may be a book-by-book, child-by-child decision. We will talk a lot about this tomorrow, and I look forward to hearing your comments

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