Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (2022)

Table of Contents
1. "Drama," by Raina Telgemeier 2. "When Wilma Rudolph Played Basketball," by Mark Weakland 3. "Lawn Boy," by Jonathan Evison 4. "Better Nate Than Ever," by Tim Federle 5. "Five, Six, Seven, Nate!" by Tim Federle 6. "The Bluest Eye," by Toni Morrison 7. "Out of Darkness," by Ashley Hope Pérez 8. "Ghost Boys," by Jewell Parker Rhodes 9. "l8r, g8r," by Lauren Myracle 10. "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," by Jesse Andrews 11. "White Bird: A Wonder Story," by R.J. Palacio 12. "Ground Zero: A Novel of 9/11," by Alan Gratz 13. "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic," by Alison Bechdel 14. "Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)" by L.C. Rosen 15. "City of Thieves," by David Benioff 16. "Gender Queer," by Maia Kobabe 17. "This One Summer," by Mariko Tamaki 18. "We Are the Ants," by Shaun David Hutchinson 19. "The Breakaways," by Cathy G. Johnson 20. "All Boys Aren't Blue," by George M. Johnson 21. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky 22. "Michelle Obama: Political Icon," by Heather E. Schwartz 23. "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You," by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi 24. "New Kid," by Jerry Craft 25. "Class Act," by Jerry Craft 26. "Salvage the Bones," by Jesmyn Ward 27. "Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice," by Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood 28. "Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness," by Anastasia Higginbotham 29. "How to be an Antiracist," by Ibram X. Kendi 30. "A Good Kind of Trouble," by Lisa Moore Ramée 31. "We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices," by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson 32. "On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God," by Louise Rennison 33. "The Kite Runner," by Khaled Hosseini 34. "It's Perfectly Normal," by Robie H. Harris 35. "Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out," by Susan Kuklin 36. "Monday's Not Coming," by Tiffany D. Jackson 37. "More Happy Than Not," by Adam Silvera 38. "George," by Alex Gino 39. "What Girls Are Made Of," by Elana K. Arnold 40. "I Am Jazz," by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings 41. "So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed," by Jon Ronson 42. "King and the Dragonflies," by Kacen Callender 43. "Go With the Flow," by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann 44. "Last Night at the Telegraph Club," by Malinda Lo 45. "Weird Girl and What's His Name," by Meagan Brothers 46. "Flamer," by Mike Curato 47. "Milk and Honey," by Rupi Kaur 48. "A Court of Mist and Fury," by Sarah J. Maas 49. "47," by Walter Mosley 50. "Girls Like Us," by Gail Giles FAQs Videos

Conservative parents have swarmed school board meetings in Texas and across the country in recent months to call for the removal of library books that deal with race, racism, sex, gender and sexuality. Some parents have taken it a step further, filling out paperwork to formally challenge the appropriateness of library books and forcing school administrators to review them.

Read more: Books on race and sexuality are disappearing from Texas schools in record numbers

NBC News sent public records requests to nearly 100 school districts in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin regions — a small sampling of the state’s 1,250 public school systems — and found 86 formal requests to remove books from libraries last year, the vast majority coming during the final four months of the year. Several titles were targeted in multiple districts.

Drawing from those records, below is a list of 50 books that Texas parents tried to ban in 2021.

1. "Drama," by Raina Telgemeier

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (1)

A parent asked administrators at the Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston to pull this graphic novel, which features gay and bisexual characters, because she claimed it might lead young students "to question their sexual orientation when they don't even comprehend what that means."

2. "When Wilma Rudolph Played Basketball," by Mark Weakland

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (2)

A parent in Prosper, a Dallas suburb, said this illustrated children's book, which touches on the racism that Olympian Wilma Rudolph experienced growing up in Tennessee in the 1940s, should be removed from school libraries because "it opines prejudice based on race."

3. "Lawn Boy," by Jonathan Evison

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (3)

A parent in Plano said this coming-of-age novel about a Mexican American character's journey to understanding his own sexuality and ethnic identity should be banned because it contains "profanity, pornography, gambling, homosexuality." The parent claimed the book encourages "admiring people with low morals and values, and hate of other people."

4. "Better Nate Than Ever," by Tim Federle

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (4)

A parent in Leander, an Austin suburb, asked for this book, which features a subplot about a teenager who’s starting to notice his attraction to other boys, to be removed because the parent didn't believe "books should discuss sensitive/controversial topics such as gender,sexuality."

5. "Five, Six, Seven, Nate!" by Tim Federle

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (5)

A Leander parent suggested replacing children's books that mention gender identity or sexuality, including this one, with "classics," such as "White Fang," "The Indian in the Cupboard,""The Swiss Family Robinson" and Shakespeare.

6. "The Bluest Eye," by Toni Morrison

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (6)

This classic novel by the Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison should be banned from schools, according to a parent in the Fort Worth suburb of Birdville, because it includes a graphic description of rape.

7. "Out of Darkness," by Ashley Hope Pérez

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (7)

This novel, about a 1930s East Texas romance between a Mexican American girl and a Black boy, isn't suitable for teens, a Birdville parent wrote, because "it depicts a graphic sexual experience between minors."

(Video) School district bans books on Rosa Parks and Malala. Now students want answers

8. "Ghost Boys," by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (8)

According to a Houston parent, reading this novel about a Black boy killed by police might cause white children who attend the Spring Branch Independent School District to “feel ashamed based on color of their skin.”

9. "l8r, g8r," by Lauren Myracle

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (9)

Told entirely through instant messages among three high school students, this novel has no place in schools, according to a parent in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, because it contains a "description of oral sex with minors," among other sexually explicit passages.

10. "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," by Jesse Andrews

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (10)

A parent in the Houston suburb of Katy wrote that this book, which chronicles the relationship between a teen boy and a girl with leukemia, includes "obscene language" and could lead students to "become over sexualized and objectified."

11. "White Bird: A Wonder Story," by R.J. Palacio

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (11)

A parent in the Spring Branch ISD said this graphic novel — about a Jewish teen living in France after Nazis seized power — should be banned because it's "biased" and could lead to the "skewing of a young child's mind."

12. "Ground Zero: A Novel of 9/11," by Alan Gratz

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (12)

A parent in Prosper said this novel, which tells the story of 9/11 and its aftermath from the dueling perspectives of an American boy and an Afghan girl, should be removed from schools because it "depicts American soldiers as callous, evil and terrorists" and because the author mentions the racial or ethnic identities of every character.

13. "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic," by Alison Bechdel

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (13)

This illustrated memoir, which recounts the author’s coming of age as a lesbian, is unsuitable for schools, according to a parent in Birdville, because it includes graphic descriptions of sexual violence.

14. "Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)" by L.C. Rosen

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (14)

A Katy mom asked administrators to remove this book, about a 17-year-old gay student who has a lot of sex and isn’t ashamed of it, after reading explicit passages aloud at a school board meeting: “We cannot unread this type of content," she said, "and I would like to protect my kids’ hearts and minds from this.”

15. "City of Thieves," by David Benioff

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (15)

A parent in San Antonio asked the Northside Independent School District to ban this work historical fiction, set during the Nazis’ siege of Leningrad, because it includes “pornographic imagery” that is "not suited for the majority" of readers, the parent wrote, adding, "... unless you're into that."

16. "Gender Queer," by Maia Kobabe

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (16)

This illustrated memoir by a nonbinary author, which includes sexually explicit cartoon images, triggered attempted bans — and even threats of criminal charges — in several Texas school districts.

17. "This One Summer," by Mariko Tamaki

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (17)

A Birdville mom wanted this book, a graphic novel featuring LGBTQ characters, removed from libraries because, she said, it "has a recurring theme of oral sex."

18. "We Are the Ants," by Shaun David Hutchinson

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (18)

This coming-of-age novel about a gay teenager came under fire in Birdville when a parent complained that it has explicit descriptions of "masterbation and genitalia."

(Video) Parents, School Officials Sound Off On Banning of Books About Race, Gender and Sexuality

19. "The Breakaways," by Cathy G. Johnson

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (19)

Parents in Keller and Spring Branch complained that this graphic novel, which features a transgender character, should be off-limits for young students because it includes images of children kissing in bed.

20. "All Boys Aren't Blue," by George M. Johnson

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (20)

This memoir by a queer Black author was flagged for removal by a group of Katy parents because it includes descriptions of molestation and sex between men.

21. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (21)

A parent in McKinney asked the district to remove this coming-of-age novel because it includes descriptions of homosexuality, date rape and masturbation.

22. "Michelle Obama: Political Icon," by Heather E. Schwartz

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (22)

A Katy parent asked to have this children's biography of the former first lady banned at every grade level because, the parent said, it unfairly depicts former President Donald Trump as a bully and because Obama's reflections on race gave the impression that "if you sound like a white girl you should be ashamed of yourself."

23. "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You," by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (23)

This young adult adaptation of "Stamped From the Beginning," Kendi's National Book Award-winning historical examination of racism, was flagged for removal by a parent in Katy, who wrote that the children's book "is littered with completely fabricated and conspiracy theory views on history" that make it seem as if "all historical events of the past were a result of racism."

24. "New Kid," by Jerry Craft

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (24)

A Katy mom asked to ban this graphic novel about a Black seventh grader at a mostly white school. She claimed that, because it includes references to microaggressions, the book is "about critical race theory, which is forbidden by Texas law."

25. "Class Act," by Jerry Craft

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (25)

A Katy mom said this graphic novel, the second in a series, should be removed from schools because it will make white children feel guilty and "kids will be brainwashed that one race is superior than the other."

26. "Salvage the Bones," by Jesmyn Ward

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (26)

In asking to ban this book about the plight of a Black working-class family as they prepare for Hurricane Katrina, a parent in Katy wrote, "I object to the explicit description of the teenage girl having sex with the boys in her social group."

27. "Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice," by Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (27)

A dad in Grapevine, a Dallas suburb, asked his child's school district to ban this book, a collection of poems by women of color on topics relating to social justice, activism and discrimination, because, he said, it promotes "terrorism."

28. "Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness," by Anastasia Higginbotham

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (28)

A parent asked the Eanes Independent School District in Austin to remove this picture book about racial justice, arguing that no books that promote the Black Lives Matter movement should be available to children.

29. "How to be an Antiracist," by Ibram X. Kendi

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (29)

In asking to ban this nonfiction book about resisting racism, an Eanes parent suggested replacing it with copies of the Bible.

(Video) The Books Getting Banned From Schools

30. "A Good Kind of Trouble," by Lisa Moore Ramée

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (30)

An Eanes parent asked administrators to get rid of this novel, about a 12-year-old girl who gets involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, because it might cause a white child to feel "confusion or distress."

31. "We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices," by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (31)

This illustrated collection of poems and essays about overcoming prejudice and racism shouldn't be allowed in schools, an Eanes parent wrote, because it "promotes discrimination."

32. "On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God," by Louise Rennison

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (32)

A parent in Denton, north of Dallas, wanted this teen romance removed from schools, arguing that it should be replaced with books "that have humor that do not promote sexual activity."

33. "The Kite Runner," by Khaled Hosseini

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (33)

This acclaimed novel about an unlikely friendship between a wealthy Afghan boy and the son of his father's servant was flagged for removal by a mom in Birdville who complained that it "depicts the rape and sexual exploitation of minors."

34. "It's Perfectly Normal," by Robie H. Harris

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (34)

A mom in Birdville asked school leaders to remove this book — an illustrated guide to puberty, sex and sexual health — after her child checked it out, writing that it wasn't appropriate for middle schoolers.

35. "Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out," by Susan Kuklin

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (35)

This book, a collection of interviews with transgender or gender-neutral young adults, was flagged for removal by a parent in Birdville who claimed that the book, which includes descriptions of sexual abuse of minors, encourages sexual activity among young children.

36. "Monday's Not Coming," by Tiffany D. Jackson

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (36)

This novel, which focuses on the unexplained disappearance of a Black teen, includes explicit language about sex, which was the basis for a Birdville parent's request to have it removed from school libraries.

37. "More Happy Than Not," by Adam Silvera

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (37)

This novel, which includes LGBTQ storylines and explicit language, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in the Fort Worth suburb of Keller. (Most of the formal library challenges submitted to the Keller Independent School District were filled out on behalf of parents by a school administrator and don't specify why the parents sought to have the books removed.)

38. "George," by Alex Gino

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (38)

This book, lauded for its portrayal of a transgender child, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

39. "What Girls Are Made Of," by Elana K. Arnold

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (39)

This young adult novel, a National Book Award finalist, mentions abortion and includes multiple descriptions of sex. It's one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

40. "I Am Jazz," by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (40)

This illustrated children's book about a transgender child — based on the real-life experiences of one of the authors — is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

(Video) Armed activists show up to library and demand they ban books

41. "So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed," by Jon Ronson

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (41)

This book, in which the author interviews people who've been shamed on the internet, touches on sensitive subjects, including rape and suicide. It's one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

42. "King and the Dragonflies," by Kacen Callender

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (42)

Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, this novel deals with themes such as grief, love, family, friendship, racism and sexuality. It is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

43. "Go With the Flow," by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (43)

This graphic novel, which the School Library Journal praised for its message "that periods need not be a dirty secret,” is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

44. "Last Night at the Telegraph Club," by Malinda Lo

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (44)

This novel, about a lesbian romance set in 1954 between a Chinese American teen and a white classmate, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

45. "Weird Girl and What's His Name," by Meagan Brothers

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (45)

Tracing the story of a 17-year-old girl who's beginning to question her sexual orientation, this is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

46. "Flamer," by Mike Curato

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (46)

The School Library Journal said this graphic novel, about a boy wrestling with his sexuality at summer camp, is "an essential book that shows readers that they are never alone in their struggles." It's one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

47. "Milk and Honey," by Rupi Kaur

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (47)

This collection of poetry and short stories about violence, abuse, love, loss and femininity is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

48. "A Court of Mist and Fury," by Sarah J. Maas

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (48)

The second in a series of young adult fantasy novels, this is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

49. "47," by Walter Mosley

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (49)

This novel, about a young slave boy who becomes swept up in a struggle for his own liberation, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

50. "Girls Like Us," by Gail Giles

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries (50)

This novel, which includes descriptions of sexual abuse, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.

FAQs

What books has Texas banned from schools? ›

The most frequent books removed included “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, which depicts Kobabe's journey of gender identity and sexual orientation; “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison; “Roe v.

How many books are banned in the US 2022? ›

2022 book bans are set to exceed 2021's numbers

From January to August 2022, the ALA found 681 attempts to ban or restrict library resources which targeted 1,651 unique titles. Based on these numbers for the first eight months of 2022, book bans have increased since last year, when they reached an all-time high.

Why is king and the dragonflies banned? ›

"King and the Dragonflies" and "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You" were included in 86 formal removal requests from Texas parents over the last year. "King" includes a Black queer character who grows up in the South, and "Stamped" is a historical account of racism in the U.S. from historian Ibram X.

Why was Diary of a Wimpy Kid banned in Texas? ›

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" by Jeff Kinney: formally challenged in October 2018 in Conroe ISD because the complainant believed the main character had a “pessimistic world view” and the story was “contrary to everything Christian, and those of any faith who are seeking morality.” A review committee found it was appropriate.

What is the number 1 banned book in America? ›

What Is the Most Banned Book in America? For all time, the most frequently banned book is 1984 by George Orwell.

What is the number 1 banned book in the world? ›

1. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, by J.D. Salinger.

Why was Charlotte's Web banned? ›

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Due to themes of death and the fact that the main characters are talking animals, a parent group in Kansas sought to ban the book from their students' school libraries.

Why are they banning books in 2022? ›

Sept 19 (Reuters) - Book bans accelerated across the United States during the 2021-2022 school year, largely because of advocacy groups that called on public schools to remove more than 1,600 titles, the writers' group PEN America said on Monday.

Why we should not ban books in schools? ›

Taking these books away may hurt the students more than it will actually protect them. Banned books usually focus on topics that are realistic, timeless, and important to learn. If students aren't exposed to these topics in schools, they may not be able to gain an awareness for these topics.

Why are people trying to ban books? ›

The book bans represent an immense increase in the number of books banned compared with any previous years and are part of the larger movement to restrict classroom conversations and lessons about race, racism, gender identity, and sexual orientation that has been led by Republican lawmakers and conservative parent ...

Is banning books a good idea? ›

When we ban books, we compromise children's education and development. Books “foster development physically, socially, and emotionally,” says Ash Beckham, an LGBTQ+ advocate, activist, and leadership and diversity speaker. “Books can give children a glimpse of the world far beyond the one they actually see every day.

What is the current banned book list? ›

Banned Books Week 2021
  • Slaughterhouse Five Or the Childrens… by Kurt Vonnegut. ...
  • 1984. by George Orwell. ...
  • Alchemist. by Paulo Coelho. ...
  • Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. by Carmen Maria Machado. ...
  • The Left Hand of Darkness. by Ursula K. ...
  • Beartown: A Novel. by Fredrik Backman. ...
  • The Kite Runner. by Khaled Hosseini. ...
  • The Catcher in the Rye.

How many books are banned in Texas? ›

The PEN America report found that 1,648 individual book titles were banned nationwide in 2,532 decisions from July 2021 to June 2022. Texas' total number of bans during that period was 801 in 22 school districts, far outpacing No. 2 Florida, which banned 566 books in 21 districts.

Did Texas schools ban the Bible? ›

In an account headlined “The Bible is among dozens of books removed from this Texas school district,” NPR reports that at Keller Independent School District outside Fort Worth, Texas, school staff were instructed to remove books from classrooms and libraries, including “the graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank's ...

How many banned books are there in Texas? ›

The PEN America report found that 1,648 individual book titles were banned nationwide in 2,532 decisions from July 2021 to June 2022. Texas' total number of bans during that period was 801 in 22 school districts, far outpacing No. 2 Florida, which banned 566 books in 21 districts.

Why are books banned in Texas? ›

The lawsuit argues that the books (most of which have since been put back on the shelves) were banned because they discuss race, gender and sexual identity. “The government can't just remove books from shelves because it disagrees with the ideas inside of those books,” says Vera Eidelman of the A.C.L.U.

Why is Fahrenheit 451 a banned book? ›

Is "Fahrenheit 451" banned in America? This novel is not banned. Sometimes Fahrenheit 451 is challenged and asked to be removed because it contains vulgar language and content. Some people may take offense to the content due to conflicting moral, ethical, or religious beliefs.

Videos

1. Open Eyes: Banned Books, Kids, and the War on Reading
(Center for Brooklyn History)
2. America’s Book Bans: The Latest Culture War Front | The Daily Show
(The Daily Show with Trevor Noah)
3. Oklahoma Bill PAYS Parents To Ban Books From Schools
(The Young Turks)
4. Reading is a Right: What Parents Need to Know About Book Bans and Pushing Back
(prhlibrary)
5. School library books create controversy at the state legislature
(NewsChannel 5)
6. Banned books prominently displayed for week of conversations on censorship
(NewsChannel 5)

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