MERIDIAN - Students at West Ada Middle schools will no longer have the option of checking out a fictional book that has now been pulled from libraries and deemed inappropriate by the district.
It's the result of a complaint from a parent who thought the novel's subject matter was too mature for that age group.
District spokesman Eric Exline says he isn't sure how "Looking for Alaska" by John Green has been in West Ada middle school libraries, but as of two weeks ago it’s no longer available.
"There are reasons why you read certain books in elementary school that you don't in middle school than you do in high school," says Exline.
Detailed in the book are references to drinking alcohol and smoking pot.
Exline says a Galileo Middle School parent complained and the staff at the district level made the decision to pull the book from shelves.
"A quote from the author himself who says I intended this for high school kids. Based on those reviews and based on some policies about putting materials at the appropriate level for kids they asked, in four middle schools, to send the book up to high school," says Exline.
"It won the Prince Award, which is the highest award for young adult fiction offered by the American Library Association," says Laura DeLaney, co-owner of Rediscovered Books.
DeLaney is also a former Boise school teacher.
"All of his books, the reason they are so popular is because they connect with kids about the issues and challenges they see in their day-to-day life," says DeLaney.
DeLaney argues "Looking for Alaska" is an important read and appropriate at the middle school level despite the subject matter.
"A lot of kids lives aren't sunny and pretty, they are dealing with school shooting, these are real life challenges and some books that connect and actually make those things have a voice, that you can label them, you can see them, you can look at how to manipulate and deal with them, makes those books incredibly powerful," says DeLaney.
Exline says West Ada high schoolers still have the option of checking out the book at school libraries.