According to the New York Daily News, YA classic The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was recently removed from a New York City school's summer-reading list after parents complained about the racy nature of the material.
While the book (which won a National Book Foundation award in 2007) does contain references to masturbation, the bulk of the novel tells the story of a budding young cartoonist who comes of age on a First Nations reservation in Spokane, Washington.
Among the offending material was the quote "And if God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs. So I thank God for my thumbs."
Concerned parent Kelly-Ann McMullan-Preiss said that “it’s about...masturbation, which is not appropriate for my child to learn at 11. It was like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ for kids.”
When asked for his view on the situation, National Book Foundation executive director Harold Augenbraum was quick to point out that "everything in the book is what every kid in that school is dealing with on a daily basis, whether it’s masturbation or racism or sexism or the complications of being human."
"To pretend that kids aren’t dealing with this on an hour-by-hour basis is a form of denial."