This book was the very deserving winner of the National Book Award in 2007.
And yet--it was the #2 challenged book in 2010, according to the ALA.
Excuse me while I go bang my head against a wall.
In the meantime, read Alexie's wise and gracious response to the latter:
Alexie told The Washington Post that, "It almost makes me happy to hear books still have that kind of power. And there's nothing in my book that even compares to what kids can find on the Internet." So. True. But there's also nothing in his book that they shouldn't find.
I've been a fan of Alexie's short stories and adult fiction since middle school. (Ironically, my mom used his stories and the film Smoke Signals as part of her 8th-grade Language Arts curriculum, and that was how I got introduced to Alexie's fiction. Suck on that, book-banners.) Alexie does incredible things with voice, and his writing walks that tightrope of tragedy and humor like few can.
I love Absolutely True Diary not just because it tells a good story, and it tells it well, and because it's an important one to tell, but because it is absolutely true. It is one of the most honest books I've read, sometimes painfully so and oftentimes hilariously so. And its honesty one of the reasons why it's such great literature for young people. Which is also why it's a shame that it's so frequently challenged.
I know I say this all the time, but if you haven't read it--go! Now! Read it! And if you have read it, let's talk about why you loved it, too!