Book fundraiser meets its target

(UPDATED, 11:31 a.m. Tuesday, with details on the book distribution.)

Two Washington women say they have met their goal, and have raised enough money to provide 350 copies of a controversial novel to Meridian students.

Sara Baker, a University of Washington student, and Jennifer Lott of Spokane, Wash., said they wanted to raise the money to buy copies of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” Sherman Alexie’s 2007 novel remains on limbo in the Meridian School District; the school board has removed the book from the district’s supplemental reading list, amidst complaints about the book’s obscenities and references to masturbation.

The fundraising drive has netted $3,000, Baker told Boise State Public Radio. That should be enough money to buy a book for every student who signed a petition urging the Meridian district to keep the book in the schools.

“I’ve heard from students that said they read the book and really loved it,” Baker told Jessica Robinson of Boise State Public Radio. “I’ve had English teachers tell me that they teach it in their curriculum and it engages students that hate to read. And then just general fans of the book that can’t believe the people who want to ban it even read the same book.”

The books will be handed out starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, at Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, 1900 N. Records Ave., Meridian. (Details from Bill Roberts of the Idaho Statesman.)

Click here for the backstory about the Meridian School Board’s April 1 vote.