Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Celebrating Banned Books Week

Yay! What could make me happy to read a list of banned books Alaska Dispatch posted?

A book I've been wanting to read by an author I love is on there - "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie.

Each year during Banned Books Week I try to read at least one of the "most banned" books of the moment. Though honestly, it's not much of a challenge. EVERY good book seems to be banned - I've read five of the top ten in the article!

Sherman Alexie has got to be one of the most well-known Native authors anyways - if not THE most well-known - and I've loved everything I've read by him, even when I've disagreed with it. This book has been on my own list for a bit (and seems to have been on the banned books list for a bit too!) - looking forward to it!

Maybe it's obvious to those who celebrate this week, but there are plenty of books on many lists that have been banned that I don't like, offend me, and that I just plain disagree with. When it comes to Native people in literature, the list of books with stereotypes and innacuracies is MUCH longer than the list of books with accurate portrayals of Native history, culture and people. Yet, I don't deny anyone the right to read them - and we do major harm to the idea that we are a free thinking society by eliminating all that we disagree with.

If you really want to help a child do their best in this world, make sure they are well-taught and have a loving heart, and are able to look at things with an open mind and a critical eye. You don't do this by giving them only that which won't challenge them, won't bring them a new perspective, and won't interest them.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks for bring more attention to things 'banned' ---went to my book outlet and added a few selectio :-)
UV

brautkleider said...

thank u

K Moore said...

My school has a banned book week every year that seems to last for more than a week. The books put out are always available as my school does not ban books. I read "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" last year and it is a wonderful book! I dont understand why it would be banned there are worse things on TV.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE read "Understanding the Book of Mormon" by Ross Anderson. I am appalled as anyone with a hint of any colour should be. And yes I will read the book u mention. Signed, A Concerned Native American in Ohio

Jessica Strecker said...

Hello,
I was born and raised in Alaska, I currently live in Redmond, Oregon and attend college here. I am taking a Native American history class this term and have to write a paper on a Native Author's book. Not about the author or the book itself but about why the author writes about what she/he writes about. Do you have any good suggestions on any Alaska Native Authors (I would like to do AK because it is my home state)that have a great quick read that can help me with this paper?

Thank You, Jessica

Writing Raven said...

Harold Napolean's "Yuuyaraq: The Way of the Human Being" is a short but intense look at historical trauma, and I believe he writes a bit about why he wrote the book in the introduction. Willie Hensley's "Fifty Miles From Tomorrow" is pretty popular, and as a leader in the land claims movement, there's a lot of info to go from. For fiction, I've always liked Velma Wallis' "Two Old Women," which is pretty short, but impacting.