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Banned Books Week Handbook: The Stories Behind Some Banned and Challenged Works
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The Stories Behind Some Past Book Bans and Challenges


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Alphabetical by Author

A

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

In 2008, school officials in Crook County, OR, removed the book from ninth grade English classes at Crook County High School after one parent complained about a passage that discussed masturbation. The Kids Right to Read Project sent a letter to the Crook County superintendent and the school board, offering resources and support to school officials who objected to the book's removal. The superintendent removed the book in violation of district policy, but a committee review board voted to reinstate it. While the book was returned to the library, it was suspended from classroom use while the superintendent, school board, and a committee reviewed the district's policy on instructional materials.

In April 2010, the Stockton (MO) School District voted to ban the book after a parent protested its use in high school English classes. The District says it voted to ban the book due to violence, language and some sexual content.

Paula by Isabel Allende

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to these novels because of its discussions of sex and teen pregnancy.

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to these novels because of its discussions of sex and teen pregnancy. 

Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

High school students in Norwood, Colorado, staged an all-day sit-in to protest the removal of the novel from a ninth grade English classroom. The book had been removed following parent complaints of profanity and "pagan content” (the book’s title character is an herbal healer). Bob Conder, superintendent of schools, confiscated two dozen copies of the novel and threw them in trash cans, then allowed a group of parents to retrieve the books and destroy them. Conder later apologized, admitting he had never read the novel, which appears on First Lady Laura Bush’s "top ten” reading list for all ages. 

Bless Me Ultima is also one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this novel because of its irreverence towards God. 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed."    

Paint Me Like I Am (anthology) edited by Bill Aquado and Richard Newirth

In 2009, a school principal in Vineland, New Jersey, literally tore pages from the library's copy of Paint Me Like I Am because it included a poem he found "objectionable." An uncensored copy was later restored to the library.

The Fighting Ground by Avi

In June 2008, The Fighting Ground was banned from elementary schools throughout Bay District Schools in Northwest Florida after one parent challenged the book for language he found objectionable. A review committee and the superintendent recommended that the book be kept in school libraries.

B

One More River by Lynne Reid Banks

A Boston parent of Arabic descent objected to the use of One More River in his daughter’s Duxbury Middle School classroom, claiming it contains derogatory descriptions of Arabs and "depicts Israelis as hateful.” The novel is the story of an upper-class Canadian teen who relocates to a kibbutz in Israel.  It was offered by a teacher as optional reading. The book was removed from Baltimore schools in 2000 following complaints by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. 

Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence by Marion Diane Bauer

One of several books attacked in Vero Beach, Florida. Part-time librarian and graduate student Meagan Albright decided to focus on gay, lesbian, and transgendered themes as part of a University of South Florida course called Multicultural and Special Population Materials for Children and Young Adults. She created a display honoring GLBTQ books and authors. The display was presented at the West Gate Regional Library, and Albright received an A from her professor. Subsequent protest from three visitors to the library prompted attacks on the books, as well as a town ordinance prohibiting county government from acknowledging or promoting gay pride and events. 

Am I Blue? is also one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC also objects to the book because of its gay content, as well as the fact that proceeds from sale of the book went to Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

In January 2009, parents in Beulah, North Dakota, challenged Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil after their sun brought it home from the school library as part of an accelerated reader program. The parents called the book "pornographic" and asked that it be removed from the school library. Although the school board initially voted to ban the book, it reversed its ban four days later, citing potential legal challenges that could arise from a hasty decision to remove a book.

Baby Be-Bop, Girl Goddess, #9, I Was a Teenage Fairy, The Rose and the Beast : Fairy Tales Retold and Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

Girl Goddess #9 and I Was a Teenage Fairy were two of several books attacked in Vero Beach, Florida. Part-time librarian and graduate student Meagan Albright decided to focus on gay, lesbian, and transgender themes as part of a University of South Florida course called Multicultural and Special Population Materials for Children and Young Adults. She created a display honoring GLBTQ books and authors. The display was presented at the West Gate Regional Library, and Albright received an A from her professor. Subsequent protest from three visitors to the library prompted attacks on the books, as well as a town ordinance prohibiting county government from acknowledging or promoting gay pride and events.

Baby Be-Bop, Girl Goddess #9, I Was a Teenage Fairy and The Rose and the Beast : Fairy Tales Retold were four of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to these novels because of their discussion of sex, exploration of gay teen lives, and profanities.  PPMC also objects to the style that Baby Be-Bop is written in, saying, "There are just plain too many teenager-aimed books nowadays that have this sort of choppy, half-conscious, half-delirious, not quite stream of consciousness style (if you can call it that) of writing." 

Forever by Judy Blue

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this novel because of its depictions teenage sex, as well as the fact that many teenagers praise the book for its frank discussion of sex.

Doing It by Melvin Burgess

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this novel because of its depictions of casual sex. 

Family Values by Phyllis Burke

Family Values is one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this book's discussion of gay parents. 

C

My Father’s Scar by Michael Cart

Library Patrons of Texas, a conservative community group, attacked this and fifteen other gay- or sexually-themed books in the Montgomery, Texas library. None of the books were removed or restricted. This book tells the story of a college student’s first gay relationship and his struggle with an alcoholic father and a prejudiced community. 

My Father's Scar is also one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC also objects to this novel because of its depictions of homosexuality and sexual abuse. 

The Homo Handbook--Getting in Touch With Your Inner Homo by Judy Carter

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this book because of its exploration of being gay and coming out. 

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter
In May 2005, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on public libraries to remove children's books with references to gay characters or gay families. To read a press release on the decision, click here. In response, gay and lesbian civil rights groups in Oklahoma donated copies of Lost Prophet: The Life of Bayard Rustin and Stonewall: The Riot that Sparked the Gay Revolution to local high schools. The donation was met with conservative outcry; however, the Oklahoma City school board voted to permit the donation.

Dance on My Grave by Alan Chambers

Library Patrons of Texas, a conservative community group, attacked this and fifteen other gay- or sexually-themed books in the Montgomery, Texas library. None of the books were removed or restricted. This book tells the 14-year-old gay boy and his first gay relationships. 

Postcards from No Man’s Land by Aidan Chambers

One of several books attacked in Vero Beach, Florida. Part-time librarian and graduate student Meagan Albright decided to focus on gay, lesbian, and transgender themes as part of a University of South Florida course called Multicultural and Special Population Materials for Children and Young Adults. She created a display honoring GLBTQ books and authors. The display was presented at the West Gate Regional Library, and Albright received an A from her professor. Subsequent protest from three visitors to the library prompted attacks on the books, as well as a town ordinance prohibiting county government from acknowledging or promoting gay pride and events. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this book because of its depictions of gay sex. 

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed." 

Ricochet River by Robin Cody

Parents from the North Clackamas School District in Milwaukie, Oregon, objected to this coming-of-age novel, written by a local author, because of its sexual content and use of profanity.  The book was retained in classrooms after the district reviewed the complaints against it, but parents who did not want their children to read it would be permitted to request an alternate assignment. Cody released a less explicit edition of the book in Spring 2006.  .

Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed." 

The Skull of Truth by Bruce Coville

This book was removed from the Highland, Illinois school district because of its depiction of a gay character. A concerned parent contacted Coville, who helped address the fact that the school board did not follow a proper process in making this decision. Coville says, "The banning of a book is a serious act. To do it in secret undermines the very foundations of a free society." (Source: Author and local residents of Highland, Illinois).

Stuck Rubber Baby
by Howard Cruse

This graphic novel, with an introduction by playwright Tony Kushner, examines homophobia, racism, and gay identity in the context of the American south during the 1960s. It was attacked by the Library Patrons of Texas, who objected to its inclusion in local libraries. They forced the reclassification of the book from Young Adult to Adult, but the book was not removed. 


Athletic Shorts and Ironman by Chris Crutcher
 
Two of several books attacked in Vero Beach, Florida. Part-time librarian and graduate student Meagan Albright decided to focus on gay, lesbian, and transgendered themes as part of a University of South Florida course called Multicultural and Special Population Materials for Children and Young Adults. She created a display honoring GLBTQ books and authors. The display was presented at the West Gate Regional Library, and Albright, who is not gay, received an A from her professor. Subsequent protest from three visitors to the library prompted attacks on the books, as well as a town ordinance prohibiting county government from acknowledging or promoting gay pride and events. Crutcher, a child therapist who brings the gritty realities of his patients to the page, is an often-banned and -challenged author.

Stotan! by Chris Crutcher

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed." 

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

Crutcher’s young adult novel was removed from library shelves and a district-wide school reading list in Athens, Alabama, despite the Superintendent of Schools’ recommendation that it remain. Opponents of the book claimed it contained offensive language. Whale Talk was also banned from another district-wide reading list in Georgetown, South Carolina. 
 

D

The Teenage Guy’s Survival Guide by Jeremy Daldry

A parent in Fayetteville, Arkansas, sought to remove this book, establish review boards to approve library purchases, and require parental consent for student access to library material. School officials noted that the book was not required reading or used in classroom instruction, but undertook a review. 

My Brother Has AIDS by Deborah Davis

Conservative community group Library Patrons of Texas tried, unsuccessfully, to have this book removed from Montgomery, Texas, area libraries. This novel, called "forthright” and "ultimately uplifting” by Publishers Weekly, is the story of a teen girl whose beloved older brother is dying from AIDS. The book contains realistic, informed details about AIDS, from its symptoms to its impact on a close family.  

Lost Prophet: The Life of Bayard Rustin by John D'emilio


In May 2005, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on public libraries to remove children's books with references to gay characters or gay families. To read a press release on the decision, click here. In response, gay and lesbian civil rights groups in Oklahoma donated copies of Lost Prophet: The Life of Bayard Rustin and Stonewall: The Riot that Sparked the Gay Revolution to local high schools. The donation was met with conservative outcry; however, the Oklahoma City school board voted to permit the donation. .

Between Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this novel because of its depictions of infidelity. 

Cheaters by Eric Jerome Dickey

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this novel because of its depictions of sex, especially homosexual sex. 

The Other Woman by Eric Jerome Dickey

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this novel because of its depictions of sexual violence and use of profane language. 

Deal With It! by Esther Drill

A print translation of the wildly-popular teen website gurl.com, this book contains frank discussion of girls’ health, adolescence, and sexuality, much of it culled from questions and comments submitted to the website by teenage girls. The book was attacked by Library Patrons of Texas, who accused it of being (among other things) "happily nonphallocentric.”  

Deal With It! is also one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC also objects to this book's frank discussion of sexuality and acceptance of homosexuality.

Daughters of Eve by Lois Duncan

Parents of a 6th grader at Lowell Middle School in Indiana objected to the content of this novel, which was included on their daughter's school reading list. Upset over the profanity and sexual content they found in the book, the Hendricks are lobbying to institute a rating system for the books available to students. 

F

Eight Seconds by Jean Ferris

After a summer rodeo school, two high school friends realize they are gay. The characters are aware of the social challenges they face, but are determined to live with compassion and tolerance. Library Patrons of Texas, critical of the book’s depictions of homosexuality, tried to have it removed from Montgomery libraries.

Eight Seconds is also one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC also objects to this novel because of its depictions of homosexuality and because it has been praised by reviewers as "a step in the right direction for teaching tolerance and breaking down stereotypes." 

The Trouble with Babies by Martha Freeman

This book was removed from the shelves of several public libraries because of a brief mention of an adopted child's two gay fathers. In one incident, a Pittsburgh-area mother demanded the book be removed from the library because of its ""homosexual agenda"." Her protests succeeded. The author has been asked to re-issue the novel without this mention of gay men. Freeman says, "I should be able to write what I want, without fear of censorship. That's my version of America, for me and other writers."  

My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr

In this novel, a Manhattan teenager begins to wonder if her brother and his best friend are actually a couple – and then wonders if she has feelings for his friend, too. Publishers Weekly applauded the book’s "thoughtful approach to the many confusing signals that accompany awakening sexuality.” Library Patrons of Texas attacked the book and tried to have it removed from local libraries.  

My Heartbeat is also one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC also objects to this novel because of its depictions of homosexuality and teen sex. 

G

Good Moon Rising and Holly’s Secret by Nancy Garden

Garden, whose candid young-adult novels about lesbians’ coming-of-age have been frequently attacked, banned, and even burned, was a target of Library Patrons of Texas. Both these books were considered objectionable because they presented homosexuality in a non-judgmental context.  

The Drowning of Stephan Jones by Bette Greene

Library Patrons of Texas protested this book by the award-winning author of Summer of My German Soldier. They objected to the content of the book, in which a young girl is shocked by the hatred – and ultimate violence – her boyfriend shows toward two gay men who move to their small Southern town.

The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell

In 2008, The Freedom Writers Diary was removed from 11th grade English classes at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis while students were still in the process of reading it. No formal complaint process was initiated, parents had signed permission slips indicated their approval of the book's use, and the book is freely available in the high school library.

The book was also challenged in 2007 in Howell, Michigan, by members of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE) with assistance from the Michigan chapter of the American Family Association. The groups objected to sexual themes and profanity within the book. ABFFE and the National Coalition Against Censorship organized a coalition of free expression groups, who joined together to send a letter to the school board urging them to retain the book. The school board voted 5-2 in the book's favor.

H

King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland

In Wilmington, North Carolina this children's book about a prince who ends up marrying another prince was moved to the adult section of school libraries. After discovering the book's gay theme, parents of a first grader who checked the book out from her school library demanded that access to the book be limited. Tricycle Press, the publisher of the book, responded to the challenge, saying, "Tricycle Press is proud to have published King & King and King & King & Family. Both books feature an unconditional love that ignores conventional boundaries, be it marriage or adoption. There are many kinds of families in this country, and the children in these families and their friends deserve to see their situations in a positive light.”  

Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix

The Galt Joint Union Elementary School board in California decided to ban this novel that explores the life of a troubled teen after a parent complained of its risque themes and language. It was removed from classrooms and can only be checked out of the library with parental permission.  

Hey, Dollface by Deborah Hautzig

Library Patrons of Texas attempted to remove this book from Montgomery libraries because it tells the story of two girls’ friendship and blossoming sexuality.

GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this book because it discusses transgender teens and provides online resources about being gay for teens. 

 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

In Baxley, Georgia, the school board banned Brave New World - along with John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Richard Wright's Native Son based on a local church minister's objection to the texts, despite parents' and teachers' approval of the book.

J

How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale by Jenna Jameson

City Councilwoman Pam Holm of Houston, Texas, urged that the book be removed from libraries’ bestseller displays for fear that children will be enticed to read its sexual content. The school district decided to keep the book in the district.  

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

The Bermudez Triangle was removed from circulation in the Bartlesville Mid-High school library in May 2007 following complaints from one parent about homosexual themes and scenes of underage drinking.

K

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Teachers at New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York, removed pages from Girl, Interrupted based on objections to its sexual content and profanity. The school board issued a statement in December 2008 opposing this censorship and announced that full text copies would replace the censored versions.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas petitioned for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed."  

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed."  

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed."  

Angels in America (play) by Tony Kushner

When Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which centers on the emergence of the AIDS epidemic among gay men in the mid-1980s, was taught in AP English classes at Deerfield High School in Illinois, a community member objected to its sexual, religious, and racial content and wanted it removed. A local organization even went so far as to call Angels in America "pornographic." The school offered the play as an "opt-in" assignment. Thanks in part to the interventions of ABFFE, NCAC, and a courageous former Deerfield student, the school board voted to keep the play in the classes.

L

What I Know Now by Rodger Larson

This story about a boy growing up in the 1950s with newly-divorced parents and confusing sexual feelings was attacked by Library Patrons of Texas, who attempted to have it removed from Montgomery (Texas) libraries.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

An eighth grader from Stanford Middle School in California spearheaded a campaign to remove Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel from his classroom. He was uncomfortable with the use of racial slurs. In protest, he wore a shirt to school emblazoned with some of the racial epithets from the book. He was asked to cover his shirt. The book was taken under review of the school district and was kept in the classroom.  In another case last year, a high school principal in Anchorage, Alaska decided that his students would not be allowed to perform a stage adaptation of the novel. He, too, was troubled by the use of racial slurs and depiction of an attempted rape. 

One Fat Summer by Robert Lipsyte

Lipsyte’s coming-of-age novel was removed from library shelves in Ansonia, Connecticut, after parents complained about one sexual scene in the book. 

The Anastasia series by Lois Lowry

Preteen girls have been enjoying Lowry’s popular Anastasia series for over 25 years. Lowry was shocked to hear that a parent from Polk County School District in Florida wants to remove six of the Anastasia books from school libraries in the district. Kristi Hardee, the mother of a fourth-grader in the district, objects to references to stuffing and snapping bras in the series. 

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Blue Valley School District in Kansas reviewed this futuristic novel about a young man’s growing disillusionment with an outwardly utopian society, following parent complaints that it was "lewd” and "twisted.”  Parents also claimed it is "unfit for analysis by students because it is violent, sexually explicit and portrays infanticide and euthanasia.”  One parent said, "This book is negative. I read it. I don't see the academic value in it. Everything presented to the kids should be positive or historical, not negative.” The novel, which has been compared to Brave New World, won the Newbery Medal in 1994. Proponents of the ban are asking that the book be removed from the entire district’s eighth grade reading list (1/6/05).  

M

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

In October 2007, Child of God was removed from Tuscola, Texas' Jim Ned High School and canceled from the school library's order list after one student's parents challenged the book's inclusion and even registered an official complaint with the sheriff's office charging the teacher who included the book on an optional reading list with providing material "harmful to minors" to their daughter. The parents objected to violence, sexual themes, and profanity in the book.

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed." 

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich

A parent of a Beaverton School District high school student in Oregon objected to the inclusion of Bringing Down the House, claiming that gambling was an inappropriate subject for students to be learning about.  The parent was also concerned by the book’s sexual content.  Rather than drop the book, the school sent home permission slips to the parents of children reading the book. The controversy has led to a review of the district policy on selecting books for classroom use.  

Gays/justice: A Study of Ethics, Society, and Law by Richard D. Mohr

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this book because it endorses stronger civil rights for gay people and opposes organized religion . 

Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for Beloved, Song of Solomon and twelve other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed." 

Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon are also three of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC also objects to these novels because of their profane language and depictions of sex & violence. 

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed." 

Fallen Angels is also one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC also objects to the novel's violence, sexual explicitness and profanities. 

Hoops by Walter Dean Myers

In April 2009, Hoops was challenged in Iowa's Council Bluffs School District by a parent who objected to profanity, derogatory language, and sexual content in the book and wanted it removed from the district entirely. Her sixth-grade twin sons had selected the book as part of a guided reading program for their Language Arts class. The Kids Right to Read Project provided advice and online resources to a school official to share with the review committee, which voted unanimously to keep the book in district classrooms and libraries.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed."  

ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle

Lauren Myracle's ttyl series, written in text-message dialect, holds the distinction of being the most frequently challenged book of 2009. The first book in the series, ttyl was, for example, removed from middle school libraries throughout Round Rock, Texas, in November of 2008 because a student's parents objected to sexual content and profanity in the book. Although two review committees voted to retain the book, Superintendent Jesus Chavez had the book removed from middle school libraries in the district before the school board could review the matter.

P

Choke by Chuck Palanuik

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this novel because of its depictions of sex addiction and irreverence towards religion. 

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed."  

R

Coming Out in College: The Struggle for a Queer Identity by Robert A. Rhoads

One of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to this book because it promotes gay pride and a rejection of heterosexism. 

On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison

A parent in Bozeman, Montana objected to the inclusion of this book in his daughter’s middle school library collection, not for the content, which he found unobjectionable, but for the inclusion of the phrase "sex god” in the title. The Bozeman parent who brought the complaint felt that the term "sex god” could influence girls to enter relationships with older men that might result in statutory rape. The Bozeman High librarians chose not to replace the current copy of the book with a version entitled Confession of Georgia Nicolson.  

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

And Tango Makes Three, a children's book based on the true story of two male penguins who adopted a chick in New York's Central Park Zoo, sits among the most frequently challenged books of 2008 and 2009. In Loudon County, Virginia, the book was challenged by a parent who saw it as an attack on families headed by heterosexuals. Two committees composed of librarians, teachers, principals, parents, and administrators recommended against any restrictions on the book. Despite those recommendations, the superintendent decided to restrict student access to Tango, making it available only to teachers and parents. After ABFFE and NCAC sent a letter to the superintendent urging him to reverse the decision, he returned the book to circulation due to "procedural errors" in the review process.

Parents in Ankeny, Iowa, objected to the book's presence in elementary school libraries. ABFFE and NCAC sent a letter to the school board opposing the challenge, and the Ankeny School Board voted 6-1 to retain the book in December 2008.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

The Superintendent of the Zeeland Public Schools in Zeeland, MI imposed restrictions on the use of the Harry Potter books.  School libraries were prohibited from displaying the books on their shelves, and teachers were barred from using them for classroom readings.  Parental permission was required for students to check the books out of school libraries, and the Superintendent also indicated that the district would not purchase any future titles in the series.  Following ABFFE's letter to the Superintendent and local advocacy efforts, the library restrictions were lifted.  

 

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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

A parent of a Noble High School student in North Berwick, Maine objected to the lewd content of The Catcher in the Rye and asked that it be removed from her son’s classroom.  The parent who brought the challenge expressed a desire for more cooperation between the school and parents in the book selection process.  The book was retained by a 7 – 1 vote from the school board. 

Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez

At Owen-Withee Junior and Senior High School in Wisconsin, the book was challenged by citizens (including some with no children in the school district), who describe it as pervasively vulgar and decry the book's gay content. After a review by the school board, the book remained in the schools.  The superintendent recommended that parental permission be required for seventh through ninth grade students who want to check out the book.  

Rainbow Boys and Sanchez's most-recent novel, Rainbow High, are both on a list of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas are petitioning to have removed from school libraries. The parents, who formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children, object to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in many of the books and have accused the librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a "homosexual agenda". PPMC objects to the novels because of they depict of gay teens and profane language. 

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

Wyandotte, Michigan's Board of Education voted to ban The Bookseller of Kabul from the library and honors English curriculum at Roosevelt High School in December 2008 after two adults in the community objected to its violent and sexual content. As a result of the challenge, the board implemented a new Media Selection Guidelines Policy and revised its bylaws to include a formal process for dealing with challenges to instructional and library material. But the board also decided to keep The Bookseller of Kabul off library shelves and out of honor students' hands while the policies were being formed. The Kids Right to Read Project's letter opposing the book's removal was read as part of a four and a half hour committee meeting in February of 2009. The committee voted unanimously to keep the book in the school library but required students aged 17 and under to get permission from a parent or guardian to borrow the book. Parents can still opt out and request that their children read another book in The Bookseller of Kabul's place when the book is assigned in class.

The Amazing Bone by William Steig

In 2008, a parent in Lehigh Acres, Florida, sought to ban The Amazing Bone from the Sunshine Elementary School library because she objected to a scene in which robbers try to steal the main character (a pig) brandishing pistols and a dagger. Due in part to intervention by ABFFE and NCAC, a review committee voted to keep the book in the school. Officials worked with the parent to accommodate the family individually.

America (The Book) by Jon Stewart

Two libraries in southern Mississippi banned inclusion of the book in their collections due to nude photographs of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices.  Wal-Mart, Inc. cited the same image in their decision not to stock the book. The trustees of the Mississippi library voted 5-2 to return the book.  

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

A parent in Oviedo, Florida, demanded that this frequently-challenged, award-winning novel be banned from all schools in Seminole County.  She objected to its depiction of Southern racism, which she considered inappropriate for kids. While Seminole officials allowed the book to remain in schools, they now require specific training for teachers who intend to use the book in classrooms. 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

This classic novel was removed from three Renton, Washington high schools after an African-American student complained that the book’s use of the word ‘nigger’ offended her.  Teachers protested that Twain was actually attacking racism and opening the door for important discussions about American history. After reviewing the case, school officials have suspended use of the book in area schools until a panel of teachers and outside advisors develop a sensitive method of presentation.  

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Peter by Kate Walker

Peter and David are two Australian teens who begin to explore their sexual identities. "Not every troubled adolescent will have the good fortune of meeting a friend like David, but, with luck, many of them will find self-understanding and self-respect through reading wise and compassionate novels like this one,” said the School Library Journal. Library Patrons of Texas, a conservative community group, fought for the removal of the book from local libraries. 

Montana 1948 by Larry Watson

The novel was removed from a summer reading list in The Village, Oklahoma, over several parents’ protests, because it contained profanity and descriptions of nudity and sex crimes. In the highly-praised book, the young son of a small-town sheriff grapples with family secrets, including the fact that his uncle has sexually assaulted several Native American women in the community. A local librarian who opposed the removal told the press, "The Bible has been censored, Harry Potter has been censored.  Everything that happens in our lives is controversial, and books represent the human experience." The librarian also stressed the importance of parental responsibility in monitoring their own children’s reading choices.

This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas petitioned for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed." Following review by the school board in August 2005, this book was removed from the school’s curriculum, but remains in the library. The board has not yet decided the fate of the other challenged books in Blue Valley. 

Black Boy by Richard Wright

Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and thirteen other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed."  

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