Last year one of my little fifth graders came in my classroom and asked me what masturbation meant. I first asked her to repeat the question to make sure I was hearing correctly, then I asked her where she heard the word.
It’s in this book I’m reading
What’s the title?
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Oh, I replied. Can I see the book?
She gave me the book and I told her to first let me scan the book and then we could ‘talk’. For the rest of the day I was wondering how to handle this situation. Finally, at the end of the day she came back for her book. I told her to first give me more time to read it. I thought maybe she was reading a book that was not written for her age bracket but then I found out the total opposite. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is written for people her age!
To say the least, I never explained what the word meant neither did she get her book back. Instead I gave her Ellie McDoodle Have Pen, Will Travel by Ruth McNally Barshaw.
I learned from Courier-Journal.com that this week is supposed to be Banned Book Week. Fight against censorship and free speech they call it…who’s fighting to keep our children innocent?