Thanks to generous donations from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and two Washington State benefactors, 700 copies of Sherman Alexie’s best-selling novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a book recently banned in Idaho State schools, were donated on World Book Night to students of Idaho. The books were distributed by volunteers at Kleiner Park, Meridian, to any young person with a valid Idaho student ID.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is currently banned from Idaho school curricula, after a public meeting of the Meridian School Board voted to remove it until further consideration. 17-year-old student Brady Kissel of Meridian School collected 350 signatures from students in protest of the book ban, which she presented to the board members on April 2nd. When news of the ban spread online, Sara Baker of Seattle and Jennifer Lott of Spokane started a fundraising campaign to purchase 350 copies for the students of Meridian, Idaho whose protest went unheard. Alexie’s publishers, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, donated an extra 350 copies after learning of the event.
The giveaway was briefly disrupted when police were called to the scene, following a complaint made by a citizen concerned that the volunteers were distributing books to teenagers without their parents’ permission. The police left quickly, finding nothing wrong with the event taking place.