The Crook County School District has temporarily removed a book from classrooms after one parent complained to the school board that the National Book Award winner was "trashy" and "inappropriate."
Written by Sherman Alexie, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," which is based on Alexie's own experiences, follows a boy who leaves the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white school "where the only other Indian is the school mascot" according to the book jacket description.
But Hank Moss, of Prineville, read the book his son was assigned to read and raised objections to the school board earlier this week, according to the Bend Bulletin.
Moss, reached today by The Oregonian, said the book includes "a reference about masturbation, and that it's ok and no big deal." He added that he felt it was "inappropriate."
Yeah because if there’s one thing that teenage boys know absolutely nothing about, it’s masturbation.
But the ironic part of the whole story? Wait for it ...
Alexie told the Bend Bulletin that the book "is actually a celebration of the compassion a small town of white conservatives showed ... an Indian boy, they ended up loving." He added that his autobiographical book is "about following your dreams. ... It's the story of an Indian kid dreaming of a bigger life. It's very American," he said.
But Moss, the parent, said he does not think the book should be taught at any age.
"I don't think it should be for anybody," he said. "I think it's trash. I don't think a 50-year-old ought to read it."
Looks like the Hank Mosses of the world would like Alexie’s book to be fiction, not an autobiography.