Parents call cops on teen for giving away banned book; it backfires predictably

Parents in Idaho called the cops last week on junior-high student Brady Kissel when she had the nerve to help distribute a book they’d succeeded in banning from the school curriculum.

The book in question was Sherman Alexie’s young adult novel “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” Published in 2007, it won the National Book Award and has become popular with young teens, supposedly for its universal themes of fitting in, making sense of race, and sexual discovery.

The sex part (and let’s face it—probably the race part) led parents to lobby Junior Mountain High School to remove it from the syllabus, citing its sexual content (it discusses masturbation) and supposedly anti-Christian content.

Local teens then started a petition to have the book reinstated. They collected 350 signatures, which is an impressive number of kids to rally around a cause like reading.

In response, a local bookstore Rediscovered Books started a crowdfunding campaign to buy a book for each of the 350 kids who signed the petition. It worked—the campaign raised $3,400, enough for a book per kid.

Rediscovered Books worked with a student involved in the petition, Brady Kissel, to distribute the books on World Book Night, an initiative to turn reluctant young readers onto reading with free, super-readable books.

They distributed all but 20 books to kids who came in to claim them, but not before parents called the cops to shut down the operation. Police told local news channel KBOI they had been called by “someone concerned about teenagers picking up a copy of the book without having a parent’s permission.”

Even police seemed to have no idea what they were doing there, and let the book giveaway proceed as planned.

Not only did it go as planned, but when Alexie’s publisher Hachette got word of the incident, they sent Rediscovered an additional 350 copies on the house. So while the book may still be banned in the school curriculum, it’s available free of cost for any kid who wants to stop into Rediscovered and pick one up.

H/t: Daily Dot | Image: Instagram

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  1. Rooney Reverb 

    I love it when things like this happen.

    April 28 at 3:54pm  / Reply
  2. Eric Bubna 

    Good work kid, tough shit morons

    April 28 at 4:00pm  / Reply
  3. The kids are alright.

    April 28 at 5:09pm  / Reply
  4. Lauren O'Donnell 

    i've no idea what goes through parents' heads when they ban their kids from reading certain things.

    April 28 at 6:00pm  / Reply
  5. good work everyone. Keep up the work of what you believe in.

    April 28 at 6:19pm  / Reply
  6. Trevor Zion Bauknight 

    I don't get the thinking. Just because the school bans it means it's illegal in the community? What a joke! At least the last laugh is on the reactionaries.

    April 28 at 6:24pm  / Reply
  7. Stephanie Elliot 

    that's SOOO awesome!

    April 28 at 7:21pm  / Reply
  8. Lee Foster 

    Smart kid who, unlike some parents in town, understands what education is.

    April 28 at 8:05pm  / Reply
  9. Felicia Chien 

    Really? Calling the cops on a kid for distributing a banned book? The parents are idiots for wasting tax payer's money. It's not like she was distributing drugs. Come on people. Smh

    April 28 at 8:14pm  / Reply
  10. Juan E Jiménez 

    "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That's what happened here." — President Barack Obama. Truer words have never been spoken by a President of this country.

    April 28 at 8:19pm  / Reply
  11. Melissa Hastings 

    Lauren Frances i think its fine if the kids read books like that, they see those stuff in movies, music videos, tv show. music. like parents need to know its okay read these books , so these kids have different perspective on other people views . and not be single mind , brain wash into thinking one thing.

    April 28 at 8:30pm  / Reply
  12. Bravo to the students, bookstore, and publisher. Books on teenage angst should be mandatory reading. Kids gotta know that they are not alone. And parents… take a pill. You were a teenager once, right? Didn't you have a shit load of angst to deal with. If you had books like this to read you would be a HELL of a lot less tight assed and a hell of a lot more open to discuss things with your kids to help them negotiate through the teen years with a little less anxiety.

    April 28 at 9:13pm  / Reply
  13. Jennifer Maness Cain 

    I bet the parents didn't even read the book prior to passing judgement. Read with your child.

    April 28 at 9:29pm  / Reply
  14. Most of the people who tried to ban Catcher in the Rye never read that, either, so odds are that you're right.

    April 28 at 9:45pm  / Reply
  15. Kim MacLennan 

    I sure wish I could get a copy for my daughter here in Canada!!!!

    April 28 at 9:51pm  / Reply
  16. …………hello "Foot Loose"! nothing wrong with sexual content, it's part of real life, nothing wrong with banning Christian content, all fiction.

    April 28 at 10:02pm  / Reply
  17. Hils Gonzalez 

    Don't folks no that when you prohibit something, people go looking for it even more. It has to do more with curiosity than anything else.

    April 28 at 10:29pm  / Reply
  18. Amanda Metcalf 

    Mike Lang No parent has a say in everything their child is exposed to unless they're homeschooling and well this wouldn't affect home-schooled children anyways. Children who go to school are exposed to other children who are exposed to other things and expose children to those things. Plus, there's libraries outside of school. There's also internet which kids can get on at other children's houses, in the library, at school, on their phones sometimes, or whatever. Children, especially teens, are actually people too and have their own minds that can find the information they need. As for this book, masturbation is a subject that they can find out about on their own with or without any form of media. Hiding information only makes them less likely to understand how to do things safely and wind up in the hospital with chaffed genitals or getting hurt trying to use vegetables in places they don't belong (there was an episode of 1000 ways to die about that.) Parents need to think about their children's safety in a world that is filled with dangers and actually educate instead of living with their heads up their butts and trying to have their kids do the same.

    April 28 at 10:49pm  / Reply
  19. Ross Campbell 

    Mike Lang "They are usually the shy, smart, introverted kids we all grew up with or the ridiculously active ones…." No factual basis for this.

    April 28 at 10:53pm  / Reply
  20. Bren Frowick 


    April 28 at 10:54pm  / Reply
  21. Radhika Chhibbar 

    Masturbation? They are aware their kid is probably doing just that when they're in the bathroom at all hours of the day for half an hour at a time….? Or do they suppose the book will be the cause of children starting? Jesus…

    April 28 at 10:55pm  / Reply
  22. Anthony Bryant 

    Because masturbation

    April 28 at 10:58pm  / Reply
  23. Shirley Callum Frowick 


    April 28 at 11:03pm  / Reply
  24. Rick Harrell 

    And such a wonderful book, too!

    April 28 at 11:05pm  / Reply
  25. Jenny Keele Moore 

    Heaven forbid kids are reading a book for enjoyment. They see worse day in and day out with TV and commercials.

    April 28 at 11:10pm  / Reply
  26. Wonder who was Alexie's ghost writer on this book? You actually don't think he wrote this book on his own do you? But on a totally different tack, this is showing absolute disrespect to the educational system. It's no wonder kids think they can run all over teachers!

    April 28 at 11:20pm  / Reply
  27. Road trip to get a free copy who's with me!

    April 28 at 11:25pm  / Reply
  28. Haha! Yeah!

    April 28 at 11:34pm  / Reply
  29. Jason Tsosie 

    As a parent I want to continue to have a say in my child's education, I'm here to support them…I'm glad the kids made a positive rally!

    April 28 at 11:44pm  / Reply
  30. Tyler Gunderson 

    Mike Lang They are usually the socially stunted, isolated ones that blow their brains out when their first girlfriend at age 30 leaves them because they are a man-child.

    April 28 at 11:56pm  / Reply
  31. Todd Ford 

    Some kids give me hope for the future. Keep standing up young lady. Good job.

    April 28 at 11:58pm  / Reply
  32. Ban $GOMCO CLAMPS and PLASTIBELLS$ not books

    April 28 at 11:58pm  / Reply
  33. Paula Sullivan 


    April 28 at 11:59pm  / Reply
  34. April 29 at 12:02am  / Reply
  35. Mars Blackman 

    Outdated thinking is why thus country continues to be held back fundamentally and politically. The world has changed for this antiquated parents. They raised their kids to be free thinkers and in turn have created an outward rebellion against helicopter patents….KUSOS

    April 29 at 12:04am  / Reply
  36. Courtney Rich-Appel 

    As a parent, I'm always disappointed when I see parents choose to "ban" books, movies, etc. I believe they do so because it's easier for them to have an open dialogue with their child. My parents were, while not anti-anything, simply not approachable. I even struggled telling them that my husband and I were expecting when I was in my late twenties because it was admitting that I was having *gasp* sexual relations! My daughter is almost 11 and, even though it can be uncomfortable at times, I have been very open in age related terms and have seen a much more self-assured girl in her than I ever was. Banning anything just shuts a very crucial door between parent and child. If you are open and honest with why you believe a certain way, you're still doing your child more of a service than just by saying, no, it's not allowed.

    April 29 at 12:04am  / Reply
  37. James McCullough 

    Such an ass backwards society. You can watch people getting mutilated, tortured, blown to pieces etc., just don't show an ass cheek or a boob while doing it!

    April 29 at 12:05am  / Reply
  38. Jaime Febus 

    Reality versus bigotry

    April 29 at 12:06am  / Reply
  39. these aren't parents these are monsters….

    April 29 at 12:06am  / Reply
  40. Every parent should watch the documentary on Netflix 'The Revisionist's , It shows the texas schoolboard in action and you wont believe what they want the text book companies to teach our kids , not only lack of science like biology/geology/astronomy and physics but the social curriculum they want in these books looks like facist Germany, with Reagan exalted to some god status . The religious right is dumbing down our kids inorder to cultivate future votes , sound crazy ? watch the flic , they admit it.

    April 29 at 12:06am  / Reply
  41. Trudy Tso Fine 

    Real Life Footloose! Lol smh

    April 29 at 12:07am  / Reply
  42. Nancy M. Reis 

    Great job! The ones hating on the book probably have no clue as to what it is about or have read it. At least the kids are reading. I can say I was able to read "Little Black Sambo" and "The Catcher in the Rye" before they were banned. Still have no clue as to why they were banned, some good literature there!

    April 29 at 12:08am  / Reply
  43. Erica Illene 

    Cool. One positive thing in America but only once every five years.

    April 29 at 12:08am  / Reply
  44. Nelson Theodore Blaskie 

    It's difficult for me to comment on the book or incident based on this one sided article.

    April 29 at 12:10am  / Reply
  45. Ricardo Salinas 

    Now they should all read the book and hand in a book report and BE GRADED for it.

    April 29 at 12:11am  / Reply
  46. Noble Kaluhiokalani 

    Expand your horizons…read. Read. Read.

    April 29 at 12:11am  / Reply
  47. LMBO

    April 29 at 12:14am  / Reply
  48. Kim Graves 

    Good! What is wrong with a book on these subjects esp sex or masturbation? So like so many let them learn on there own, with kids having oral sex parties i would rather my kid know about masterbation than learning what to do from other kids, of course i would rather her never know anything about sex until she is married and even then lol just kidding but knowledge is power in every subject

    April 29 at 12:14am  / Reply
  49. Christine Holland Cosgrove 

    This kid rocks. And banning a book for "Anti Christian content? Shit, lets ban the bible, half the shit in there is anti christian.

    April 29 at 12:14am  / Reply
  50. Great job kids too bad your community is so pathetic and parents moronic

    April 29 at 12:15am  / Reply
  51. Good for them. No one should have the right to shackle anyone else's mind.

    April 29 at 12:17am  / Reply
  52. The appeal of prohibited stuff…War on drugs fails by that measure.

    April 29 at 12:18am  / Reply
  53. Yvonne Almore 


    April 29 at 12:18am  / Reply
  54. The future of our nation.. A little bit proud I can't lie

    April 29 at 12:22am  / Reply
  55. Michael Wooster 

    I read the comments hoping to see some supporters of the parents, just for shits and giggles. Not sure if proud or disappointed.

    April 29 at 12:25am  / Reply
  56. Oana Stoica 

    Only the closed minded find ideas and books threatening.

    Good for the kids for standing up for themselves in the face of blatant adult idiocy.

    April 29 at 12:25am  / Reply
  57. Can't opine on this one-sided article without reading the book first.

    April 29 at 12:26am  / Reply
  58. Reminded me of the book-burning in the movie Footloose from the 80's

    April 29 at 12:27am  / Reply
  59. Scott Craig 

    Fantastic story!!

    April 29 at 12:29am  / Reply
  60. Nate Toledo 

    OH MY GAWD! MASTURBATING! Yeah, like the parents never punched their "munchkin" either!

    April 29 at 12:31am  / Reply
  61. Juan E Jiménez 

    My theory is that all these imbeciles we see doing all this stupid shit… they are the consequences of lead poisoning, from before leaded fuel was banned. Remember when that happened? It was in the mid 1970s, when Charles Patterson finally won his battle against the oil companies and refineries. But those people who were still exposed to high levels of leaded fuel? They're now between 40 and 60 years old. They're the wacko yahoos in the teagagger party, the GOP, and the religious freaks like these. Brain damaged because of the toxins that the oil companies put into the air when they knew that ANY amount of lead was poisonous to human beings.

    Thankfully, that also means that when all these morons die off, we just might return to normal levels of imbecility in the country, and we'll start moving forward full speed ahead once again. DARWIN! GET TO WORK!

    April 29 at 12:34am  / Reply
  62. Good they should hear the truth that god isn't what everyone thinks it is..FLESH AND BLOOD

    April 29 at 12:35am  / Reply
  63. Brian Solomon 

    Lauren Frances Its about freedom as long as folks don't try to ban the Gideons from handing out Bibles.

    April 29 at 12:36am  / Reply
  64. Clint Zim Varnam 

    Damn kids and your reading. (it's a joke)

    April 29 at 12:39am  / Reply
  65. Amanda Metcalf 

    Mike Lang I never said every kid HAS the internet, but every kid does know a kid who has the internet or can find the internet and printers exist. Also talking exists. And libraries too.

    April 29 at 12:41am  / Reply
  66. Corey Simon 

    So we had to jump to implied racism to emphasis how "bad" these parents are? Wasn't their desire to censor the books enough? Instead the author of this article chooses to add an additional element of bigotry to a case that already has enoguh. Look, these parents are wrong but unfair allogations don't make this argument any better.

    April 29 at 12:41am  / Reply
  67. mmmmm lets see the Nazis of pre World War 2 , like all other fascist groups banned books and dictated to their society what was proper to read. Now the right wing idiots of this country are doing or trying to do the same thing. The same people that call President Obama a fascist Dictator. The same people who are always screaming bloody murder about how our government is too much into our private lives. I bow to you Brady Kissel . Keep up the good work. You are a hero in my book.

    April 29 at 12:44am  / Reply
  68. Excellent young people!

    April 29 at 12:45am  / Reply
  69. If they're old enough to have heard of the book, they are old enough to read it. Backfire big time. Parents being too overprotective these days. That will backfire, too, and your kids will have more of a world to explore alone when they turn 18.

    April 29 at 12:45am  / Reply
  70. Lucia Jordan 

    Keep reading!!

    April 29 at 12:46am  / Reply
  71. Paula Boren 

    Good work, students. Keep reading. Banning books is wrong.

    April 29 at 12:49am  / Reply
  72. Tyler Gunderson 

    Mike Lang If your kids are isolating themselves from an internet world they are already obsolete. You know what happens to people that are obsolete shut ins? I mentioned it above.

    April 29 at 12:49am  / Reply
  73. Lol what does the parents think this is world war 2 Germany dumb asses…way to go kids keep reading

    April 29 at 12:51am  / Reply
  74. They banned it for non-christian content? The King James Bible talks about stoning your wife to death for cheating on you and Stoning your own children to death for disobedience. If you want to go there, than the bible should be banned for non-christian content. Good for the kids involved in this. At least some of the youth actually realize when they are being bullied by the older generation and take it upon themselves to push back. Parents are here to guide their children into becoming free-thinking and respectable individuals, not shelter them from everything they deem uncouth.

    April 29 at 12:52am  / Reply
  75. Christian Jayhawk Chriswell 

    That's a great book! I live in Idaho and my high school teacher encouraged us to read it!

    April 29 at 12:54am  / Reply
  76. Mo Peterson 

    I think parents should have more influence over their kids than institutions like public education.sorry.

    April 29 at 12:54am  / Reply
  77. They did have a lot of angst but their parents made them repress that angst and so when they become parents they do the same thing to their children.

    April 29 at 12:54am  / Reply
  78. JD Dye 

    But I bet these same parents have no problems letting those same kids watch the Kardashians on tv…

    April 29 at 12:56am  / Reply
  79. Samuel Bennett 

    and in the meantime, the parents can be incredibly grateful that their daughter, despite being in middle school, is far more emotionally and intellectually mature than they and is most-likely willing to forgive them and put it all behind her. Then again, if they're still compelled to undermine her, they can always enjoy an estranged and empty relationship with their daughter

    April 29 at 12:58am  / Reply
  80. Mike Schaber 

    Good work kids. Just because it was banned from the school doesn't make it illegal outside of the school walls.

    April 29 at 12:59am  / Reply
  81. John Meadows 

    I just do not get the idea of banning books. Why not teach your children to make up their own minds? Oh. That's right. That's hard. Leave it to the schools to raise your children.

    April 29 at 1:01am  / Reply
  82. Joseph Clinton Hollingsworth 

    When a CHILD is 18 they can read whatever they want. Until then it is the job of the PARENTS to decide what is or isn't appropriate. I haven't read the book. I don't need to. I can se that, apparently, enough parents at this school thought it was inappropriate. Then, a CHILD decides to deny those parents their choice to exclude this book? And people are congratulating this kid on a job well done? This. This is why teenage kids do whatever they want. Parents in this country have had all rights and any control taken away from them. I applaud those parents for standing up and attempting to take back those rights.

    April 29 at 1:01am  / Reply
  83. Melissa Hastings 

    Mike Lang I know there are those Conservative families. I do agree parents should have a say on what their child reads in a classroom. but i don't think books should be banned ever in schools, i think the students should have options and get permission to read that book for assignment. But Kids want to do what other kids like. so they will get their hands on those CD or w.e it is. there are schools i believe that banned Anne Frank book or some books written by a Black Man. also there is a lot of parents that Don't care what their child is reading school, because they trust the teachers to teach them and protect them. i think the books should be age appropriate nothing sexual, or Violent for kids 7th grade and below. i think Kids age 13 and up Have an idea on this stuff . they are not idiots , besides making bad decisions. i think when they are at age 13 where they may start dating. i think in english class they may have to read a book for assignment . about abusive relationship, Drug addiction. Because today Kids are doing drugs,getting into heroin . anyway i know its not the point you are trying to make. sorry

    April 29 at 1:04am  / Reply
  84. Ben Snapped 

    Funny thing no one would have read the book before the publicity

    April 29 at 1:08am  / Reply
  85. Ever been to Idaho? I have, I lived there in Boise for nearly seven years. It was probably living there for three weeks before i ever saw a black person. The state is jam packed with Mormons, a crazy religion that has a shameful history of treating blacks like trash. I would bet my life that these overly dramatic parents are racist Mormons

    April 29 at 1:08am  / Reply
  86. WA Brown 

    More acts of communism in America. These fucks need move to Russia or China… I am sure they will fill at home there.

    April 29 at 1:09am  / Reply
  87. How is it showing disrespect toward the education system? The school system banned the book so a collection of students who wanted to read the book, raised their own money and distributed it amongst themselves. If anything it was a valid lesson in showing that you can achieve anything if you have enough people working toward a common goal. Just because something is removed from the school curriculum doesn't mean that it is banned from being read… The education system is not your dictator, they provide a service.

    April 29 at 1:13am  / Reply
  88. Am I the first to ask if they're allowed to dance in this town?

    April 29 at 1:14am  / Reply
  89. Amanda Metcalf 

    Mike Lang Not "because they're just going to hear about it anyways" but a parent with any sense would inform them in an age appropriate way about how to have respect for others when involved in a sexual relationship in general terms and hopefully when/if they do learn about those things anyways, they'll know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior and understand enough about their bodies to know what is dangerous and what is safe. And face sitting is an important topic too as many children don't understand the dangers of STDs involved and how to protect themselves. Many parents aren't even aware.

    April 29 at 1:18am  / Reply
  90. i read worse shit than that on the internet lololololololol

    April 29 at 1:20am  / Reply
  91. Never forget one person can make a difference.

    April 29 at 1:21am  / Reply
  92. Mark Antonio Rodriguez 

    Is it me, or is Religion ALWAYS behind ignorance and the limiting of any kind of knowledge?

    …O wait, god himself wanted people stupid and to not eat the fruit of the tree of Knowledge.
    Can we start admitting religion has run it's course in intellectual society?

    April 29 at 1:23am  / Reply
  93. H Steven Mead 

    dumb asses fail again .

    April 29 at 1:24am  / Reply
  94. Andrew Youngs 

    …and I applaud the police for having common sense not to stop children from reading and learning. Is your goal here to stand against learning Mr. Hollingsworth? Or do you perhaps have some compensation issues you're having to deal with that you need to control your kids mind like a prison warden?

    April 29 at 1:24am  / Reply
  95. Some parts of America make FOOTLOOSE look like it isn't fiction. For a country that seriously accuses other countries of this sort of thing on a daily basis. No country has as much censorship than the USA in the western world. You can not even buy an alcohol beverage as an adult. how ridiculous is that. you are an adult, next minute you will be telling the world that you are the most FREE countries in the world.

    April 29 at 1:24am  / Reply
  96. Mike Thefish Hunter 

    I wonder if any of those micro minded parents ever read a history book

    April 29 at 1:26am  / Reply
  97. It's a book. A novel. It's not a pornographic magazine. I think you need to take your boxers out of their knot…Not to mention that the book in question was only "banned" from the school curriculum, without just cause. It was not banned from the community or book store. I can probably safely assume you don't read often. I quite honestly feel bad for any children or teens that you may come in contact with if this is your mindset. Your ignorance is appalling.

    April 29 at 1:27am  / Reply
  98. Good

    April 29 at 1:27am  / Reply
  99. Joseph Clinton Hollingsworth 

    Not, it isn't pornography. Which is also banned from the curriculum. But , apparently if enough kids sign a petition I can go down to the local porn shop and distribute free copies of hustler to any kid who signed the petition. Funny, though, I bet if this kid was trying to distribute BIBLES many of you wouldn't be so supportive. Funny how that works isn't it. I am a parent and I will choose what my children read. If enough other parents at my child's school decide something is inappropriate, I support their decision to exclude it.

    April 29 at 1:28am  / Reply
  100. I guess parents dont have the right tp determine what their children are exposed to anymore…how sad. This is why my children will never go to public school. Youre all a bunch of idiots if you think children know whats best for themselves.

    April 29 at 1:30am  / Reply
  101. Nola Miller 

    Agree with Eric!

    April 29 at 1:31am  / Reply
  102. Mark Mitchell 

    Prediction: Mr. Hollingsworth's daughter winds up pregnant at 16.

    April 29 at 1:33am  / Reply
  103. Yet you still commented… I'm sure if you wanted a comprehensive study as to why this particular book was banned, you could always conduct it yourself. However, as you are employed by a Catholic School Board; it would be safe to assume you wouldn't enjoy the book anyway.

    April 29 at 1:33am  / Reply
  104. "I live it when a plan comes together"

    April 29 at 1:35am  / Reply
  105. Frank Budd 

    stupid americans being stupid americans.

    April 29 at 1:37am  / Reply