Banned Books

Books from our collection and displayed in the Banned! Books Under Fire Exhibition. Sept 19 - Oct 14 Peters Balcony Gallery, 3rd Floor, Library

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence - the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever ... With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming children's book explores issues of same-sex marriage and democracy. Sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated, this book is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different. Challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
A Wrinkle in Time A Wrinkle in Time is the story of Meg Murry, a high-school-aged girl who is transported on an adventure through time and space with her younger brother Charles Wallace and her friend Calvin O'Keefe to rescue her father, a gifted scientist, from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. Banned for religious elements.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The adventures of a boy and a runaway slave as they travel down the Mississippi River on a raft.
Alice In-Between When motherless Alice turns thirteen she feels in-between, no longer a child but not yet a woman, and discovers that growing up can be both frustrating and wonderful. Banned for nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint.
All American Boys The book tells the story of two teenage boys, Rashad Butler and Quinn Collins, as they handle racism and police brutality in their community. Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”.
And Tango Makes Three At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches. Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content.
Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God. Banned for exploring issues of religion and sexuality.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out Beyond Magenta documents the stories of six teenagers, in their own words, who consider themselves transgender or gender neutral. Their stories are about pain and power of transition, their daily lives, and how they feel society and their families and friends view them. Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth An autobiography describing the author's struggles against the dehumanizing southern social environment of the Jim Crow South. Criticized for being anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian.
Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot George and Harold and their doubles, Yesterday George and Yesterday Harold, have been taking turns going to school, but when the doubles fall prey to their gym teacher, Mr. Meaner, and his method of mind control that turns students into attentive, obedient, perfect children, it is up to original George and Harold to strike back. Series was challenged because it was perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple.
Daddy’s Roommate A young boy discusses his divorced father's new living situation, in which the father and his gay roommate share eating, doing chores, playing, loving, and living. Banned and Challenged due to LGBTQIAP2S+ content.
Drama Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
Fallen Angels Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam. Banned for offensive language, racism, and violence.
Gender Queer Gender Queer: A Memoir is a 2019 graphic memoir written and illustrated by Maia Kobabe. It recounts Kobabe's journey from adolescence to adulthood and the author's exploration of gender identity and sexuality, ultimately identifying as being outside of the gender binary. Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images
Gossip Girl Presents a world of jealousy and betrayal at an exclusive private school in Manhattan. Banned for drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit.
Habibi Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. Banned for nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
Handmaid’s Tale Set in a near-future strongly patriarchal, totalitarian theonomic state, known as the Republic of Gilead, Offred, the central character is one of the "handmaids"—a group of women who are forcibly assigned to produce children for the the ruling class of men in Gilead. Banned and challenged for profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
I am Jazz From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”.
It's So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families Uses bird and bee cartoon characters to present straightforward explanations of topics related to sexual development, love, reproduction, adoption, sexually transmitted diseases, and more. Banned and challenged for sex education and LGBTQIAP2S+ content.
It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book About Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health Provides accurate, lucid, and unbiased answers to almost every conceivable question on sex, including birth control and AIDS, that children may ask. Banned for nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it is child pornography”.
Jacob’s New Dress Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can't wear "girl" clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress to school. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? Banned and Challenged due to LGBTQIAP2S+ content.
Julie of the Wolves While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Inuk girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack. Challenged as unsuitable to age group.
King & King When the queen insists that the prince get married and take over as king, the search for a suitable mate does not turn out as expected. Banned and Challenged due to LGBTQIAP2S+ content.
Lawn Boy Mike Munoz is a young Mexican American not too many years out of high school--and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew. Though he tries time and again to get his foot on the first rung of that ladder to success, he can't seem to get a break. Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
Looking for Alaska Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. Challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”.
Madeline and the Gypsies Pepito and Madeline are rescued by gypsies during a storm, and travel and perform with their wandering friends. Challenged due to stereotypes.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl The novel’s main character and narrator is a 17 year-old loner named Greg Gaines. Greg spends most of his time with his best friend Earl, who shares his love for filmmaking. During his senior year, Greg’s mother urges him to rekindle his friendship with a classmate named Rachel, who suffers from leukemia. Greg attempts to connect with her by showing her some of the movies he made with Earl. As her condition deteriorates, he begins making a movie about Rachel, which thrusts him into the spotlight he has tried to avoid for all of high school. Despite its serious content, the story is told through humor using Greg’s distinctive teenage voice. Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women.
Melissa (Previously published as George) When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part ... because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all. Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community”.
Monster While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken. Banned for language, violence, and sexual overtones
My Mom's Having a Baby! Elizabeth's mom is having a baby, and the whole family is involved. Elizabeth learns all about the baby's development, and she traces his growth, month by month until there's a brand-new little person in the family! Banned and challenged for sex education.
Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan After her parents are taken away by the Taliban, young Nasreen stops speaking. But as she spends time in a secret school, she slowly breaks out of her shell. Banned for religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
Of Mice and Men The experiences of two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression. Banned and challenged due to racial stereotypes, violence, and language. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students.
Out of Darkness The novel chronicles a love affair between a teenage Mexican-American girl and a teenage African-American boy in 1930s New London, Texas, occurring right up to the 1937 New London School explosion. Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Persepolis is an autobiographical series of bandes dessinées by Marjane Satrapi that depicts her childhood up to her early adult years in Iran and Austria during and after the Islamic Revolution. The title Persepolis is a reference to the ancient capital of the Persian Empire. Banned for gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”.
Piano Lessons Can Be Murder When Jerry finds a dusty old piano in the attic of his new house, his parents offer to pay for lessons. At first, taking piano seems like a cool idea. But there's something creepy about Jerry's piano teacher, Dr. Shreek. Banned for being too graphic and scary for children.
Prince & Knight A prince and a knight in shining armor find true love in each other's embrace after fighting a dragon together. Challenged and restricted for featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint
Rainbow Boys Three high school seniors, a jock with a girlfriend and an alcoholic father, a closeted gay, and a flamboyant gay rights advocate, struggle with family issues, gay bashers, first sex, and conflicting feelings about each other. Banned and Challenged due to LGBTQIAP2S+ content.
Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology Revolutionary Voices celebrates the hues and harmonies of the future of queer society, offering a collection of experiences, ideas, dreams, manifestos, and fantasies expressed through prose, poetry, artwork, and performance pieces. Banned and Challenged due to LGBTQIAP2S+ content.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand. Banned for racism.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Stories of ghosts and witches, "jump" stories, scary songs, and modern-day scary stories. Banned and challenged for being unsuitable to age group. Banned as unsuited for age group, violence.
Sex is a Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings and YOU A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10. Challenged, banned, and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate” .
Skippyjon Jones Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat with an overactive imagination who would rather be El Skippito, his Zorro-like, Chihuahua alter ego. Challenged for depicting stereotypes of Mexican culture.
So Far from the Bamboo Grove A fictionalized autobiography in which eleven-year-old Yoko escapes from Korea to Japan with her mother and sister at the end of World War II. Banned as unsuitable for age.
Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice After discussing the police shooting of a local Black man with their families, Emma and Josh know how to treat a new student who looks and speaks differently than his classmates. Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers that provides general guidance about addressing racism with children, child-friendly vocabulary definitions, conversation guides, and a link to additional online resources for parents and teachers. Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views.
Speak Chronicles the struggles of thirteen-year-old Melinda Sordino after she is a raped by at a party the summer before her freshman year of high school by another student. Melinda tells her story in first person narrative. She describes events within the framework of the four marking periods of the school year. Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Kids will discover where racist ideas came from, identify how they impact America today, and meet those who have fought racism with antiracism. Along the way, they'll learn how to identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their own lives. Banned and challenged because of author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes The daily class discussions about the nature of man, the existence of God, abortion, organized religion, suicide and other contemporary issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior's attempt to answer a friend's dramatic cry for help. Banned for being sexually explicit.
Story of Little Black Sambo A little boy in India loses his fine new clothes to the tigers, but while they dispute who is the grandest tiger in the jungle, he takes his fine clothes back again. Banned for racism and racial slurs.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term.
The Bluest Eye The story of eleven-year-old Pecola -- a black girl in an America -- who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit. Banned for sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”.
The Cay When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, an adolescent white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion. Banned for racism.
The Color of Earth A young girl, growing up with her mother who owns a tavern, learns about life through village gossip, travelers and many questions. Banned and Challenged as unsuitable for age group.
The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition It tells the story of her family who live in Frankfurt, Germany and suddenly have to go into hiding as a result of Hitler and the Nazi Party's treatment of Jews in Europe during the second world war. They escape to Amsterdam where they go into hiding with other Jews. The diary ends suddenly on 1 August 1944. Banned for being sexually explicit.
The Dragonslayer The adventure starts when cousins Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are run out of Boneville and find themselves lost in the wilderness. The Bone series has been banned and challenged for being unsuitable for age group. Banned for political viewpoint, racism, violence.
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things Feeling like she does not fit in with the other members of her family, who are all thin, brilliant, and good-looking, fifteen-year-old Virginia tries to deal with her self-image, her first physical relationship, and her disillusionment with some of the people closest to her. Banned and challenged for being sexually explicit.
The Family Book Represents a variety of families, some big and some small, some with only one parent and some with two moms or dads, some quiet and some noisy, but all alike in some ways and special no matter what. Banned and Challenged due to LGBTQIAP2S+ content.
The Hate U Give Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda. Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower A coming of age novel about Charlie. He deals with the usual teen problems, but also with the suicide of his best friend. Banned for nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it is child pornography”.
Thirteen Reasons Why When high school student Clay Jensen receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death. Banned, challenged, and restricted for addressing teen suicide.
This Book is Gay Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who's ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU. There's a long-running joke that, after "coming out," a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. THIS IS THAT INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You're welcome. Inside you'll find the answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask: from sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more. This candid and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it's like to grow up LGBT also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention illustrations. Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.
This Day in June A picture book illustrating a Pride parade. The endmatter serves as a primer on LGBT history and culture and explains the references made in the story. Challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content,
This One Summer It is a coming of age story about two teenage friends, Rose and Windy, during a summer in Awago, a small beach town. Rose and Windy discover themselves and their sexuality while battling family dynamics and mental disabilities. Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and certain illustrations.
To Kill a Mockingbird A young girl growing up in an Alabama town in the 1930s learns of injustice and violence when her father, a lawyer, defends a black man accused of raping a white girl. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience.
Two Boys Kissing A chorus of men who died of AIDS observes and yearns to help a cross-section of today's gay teens who navigate new love, long-term relationships, coming out, self-acceptance, and more in a society that has changed in many ways. Challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content.
Uncle Bobby’s Wedding Chloë is jealous and sad when her favorite uncle announces that he will be getting married, but as she gets to know Jamie better and becomes involved in planning the wedding, she discovers that she will always be special to Uncle Bobby--and to Uncle Jamie, too. Banned for homosexuality and unsuited to age group
What My Mother Doesn’t Know Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right. Banned for nudity, offensive language, and sexually explicit.
What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls Helps girls realize that they are not alone in their concerns as they go through their transformation to womanhood, and provides them with correct, scientific information about their bodies. This expanded Third Edition addresses questions raised in the thousands of letters sent by kids to the authors over the years. Banned as being sexually explicit.
When Dad Killed Mom When Jenna and Jeremy's father shoots and kills their artist mother, they struggle to slowly rebuild a functioning family. Banned as being sexually explicit.
Women on Top: How Real Life Changed Women’s Sexual Fantasies Women on Top contains transcripts of actual sexual fantasies that will change your mind-set about women and sex. Banned and Challenged due to LGBTQIAP2S+ content.
Worm Loves Worm Two worms in love decide to get married, and with help from Cricket, Beetle, Spider, and the Bees they have everything they need and more, but which one will be the bride and which the groom? Banned and Challenged due to LGBTQIAP2S+ content.

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