I have never been one to think that banning books is a good idea. And if you really look into some of the books that are banned, it might surprise you. Some of them make absolutely no sense to me. But the Twin Falls School District explained to me how the books make it on the shelves in each Twin Falls school.

Banning a book means that a private individual, government official, or organization removes books from shelves in libraries or bookstores due to the content.

These are a list of historically banned books. This does not mean that the Twin Falls School District has these books banned. Some of them may be on shelves at age appropriate schools.

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A Surprising List Of Banned Books

The Diary of Anne Frank is on the list of banned books. I think this book is one of the most important that everyone should read. There should not be a single person on this planet that has not read that book because it is powerful. Those who do not know the history of the past are condemned to repeat it.

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is, ironically, about burning and censoring books. I found this to be one of my favorite books of all time. The government comes around, takes books, and burns them. No one is allowed to read. Ironic that it is on the banned book list.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a classic. Again, one of my favorite books of all time. The book is so raw and relatable. The struggles with unrequited love, trying to hold on to the past, and materialism. The desire for grandiose parties and extravagance is something that anyone can get easily captured. Dreams versus reality can hit hard, especially in this book.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee Harper is another classic and one I don't understand being banned. It emphasizes the struggles that truly occurred when racism was at its peak in the United States. Accounts like these really happened and it is important to know the history.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou I think this is an incredibly powerful book about racism and the history behind it. This book explains how awful the deep seeded racism at the time shaped lives and destroyed them. It is a great story people need to know.

The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger is an amazing story. I have no idea why it is so controversial unless it is because the character is so matter-of-fact about things. It is a coming-of-age story, and it might be something that other teens have also felt.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, besides the fact that, in my personal opinion, the writing is awful, there is no reason this book should be banned. So many young people identify and are entertained by this book series. It is a fictional love story that people like to get wrapped up in. There is nothing wrong with fantasy.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is again a favorite of this generation. The series is great and gets young people thinking, could this be something that actually happens? I have no idea why this series is banned either.

Stephen Brashear
Stephen Brashear

The Twin Falls School District Stance On Banned Books

So each librarian at each school chooses what books to go on their shelves. The librarians know the content and what is appropriate for the age group they are gearing towards. The chances of the Catcher In The Rye going on a shelf at Bickel Elementary is virtually zero, but it may be on shelves at Twin Falls High School. Librarians at the school district are open to hearing from parents about the content on their shelves and they have not had a challenge in over a decade. The librarians are mindful about what goes on the shelves for the ages they serve.

Credit: Shunya Koide on Unsplash
Credit: Shunya Koide on Unsplash

Parents Can Check Libraries

If a parent is concerned about books on the shelves of the library their children go to, they can contact the school and see the material that is being offered. Parents have full rights to see what education material students have access to, including the library.

If you are upset with any of the content, the school district will respond according to the policies in place. Librarians work really hard to keep updated books and fresh material on their shelves. As a parent, you always have a voice.

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