A Rundown of Freedom To Read Week


The Boise High library is a safe space for every student.

Andie Nickels, Reporter

“Librarians are quiet rebels, they always have been.” Mrs. Rush, the library media specialist for Boise High said. The American Library Association (ALA) stated on their website, “…a challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict [books], based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.” The ALA has suggested the renaming of Banned Books Week, which has a slight negative connotation, to Freedom To Read Week instead. September 18-24 is when the event is celebrated throughout the country. 


Rush continued, “A few years ago, they banned a book out of our neighboring district [West Ada], and the public library was giving out free copies of that book to anyone who wanted to read it.”


A Texas school district recently pulled a graphic novel adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank from its shelves temporarily due to being challenged for a ‘potential attraction to women’. When asked why it’s important to have books challenged for those reasons on the library’s shelves, Mrs. Rush was quick to answer. “There’s a phrase called ‘windows and mirrors books’. Window books allow you an opportunity to look through them and see someone that is different from you. A mirror book reflects yourself back. Both of them are equally important.”


Rush continued. “I’m a firm believer that every single one of you kids at Boise High needs to see yourselves reflected in the books on these shelves.”


Out of the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2021, five of them were challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content. Rush noted that while this is consistent with what she has seen before, it’s been “ramped up over the last two to three years, specifically this last year.” Mrs. Rush also compared it to past banned or challenged books. “It used to be way back when that they were banning Huck Finn for language, or Harry Potter for witches and wizards and sorcery. Now there’s a new target… It’s always kind of been there but definitely not as obvious, now I feel like it’s obvious that there’s a certain group being targeted.”


Rush concluded with her firm belief on the subject. “Have you heard the phrase ‘you choose to die on a hill’?…The book banning thing? That’s one I’m gonna die on.” A quiet rebel, indeed.