Censored: Books Banned For Sexual Content

It's Banned Books Week and time to honor some of the most reviled books in America. While book-banning may sound like a throwback to Victorian times, censoring books continues to flourish in 21st-century schools. What's most surprising is a book can be removed from a curriculum, reading list, or school library with the complaint of just one parent. Violence, racial themes, and the occult are commonly cited reasons, but an even more popular one is sexual content. Check out these nine books that have been removed from schools in the last two years, and tell us if you think there's ever a good reason to ban a book.

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - After a parent complained about a passage that discusses masturbation, the book was removed from the ninth-grade curriculum at a high school in Crook County, OR.
  • And Tango Makes Three - Can anyone hate a book about penguins? They sure can if it's about homosexual penguins. After parents said the book's same-sex penguin couple who adopt a chick was "an attack on families headed by heterosexuals," access to the book was restricted in all elementary schools in Loudoun County, VA. It's also been challenged in elementary schools in Iowa, Maryland, and Virginia.
  • Beloved - After parents complained about sexual and racial content in Louisville, KY, Beloved was removed from the high school AP English curriculum.
  • The Bermudez Triangle - The Bermudez Triangle was removed from the library of a high school in Bartlesville, OK, after one parent complained about its homosexual themes.
  • How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents - Parents of one child in Smithfield, NC, objected to sexual themes in How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Though their daughter was offered an alternative assignment, they pressed on, and the book was removed from not only the curriculum but also from district classrooms and libraries.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower - The school board of Portage High School in Indiana banned The Perks of Being a Wallflower from ninth-grade classrooms after one parent objected to the novel's sexual content.
  • The Tenth Circle - After some parents complained about sexual content in Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle, the book was removed from the ninth-grade optional reading list.
  • TTYL - TTLY was removed from all middle school libraries in a Texas school district after a parent complained about the book's sexual content and profanity.
  • The Making of Dr. True Love - One parent complained about the "sexually explicit content" in The Making of Dr. True Love, and the book was removed from library shelves in a Bedford County, VA, high school.
  • Is Banning Books Ever OK?
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