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What books are banned in Texas and why do parents want them banned? Full list

Calls to remove books from public school libraries in Texas is on the increase. Some books already taken off the shelves for “review”, others permanently.

Calls to remove books from public school libraries in Texas is on the increase. Some books already taken of the shelves for “review”, others permanently.

School boards across the state of Texas are receiving requests from parents to remove books from school libraries. The majority of the books targeted deal with racism or sexuality.

Some schools have already taken books off of their library shelves for review and others have been removed permanently. In October a Texas state lawmaker compiled a list of books that he wants removed because they might make students uneasy.

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Growing trend of banning books

Parents challenging the content of school libraries has been on the increase across the nation since the start of the school year. The trend is especially acute in Texas where some school districts have received more challenges than in the past two decades together. The state passed House Bill 3979 in June last year, which became law in December, that prohibited state teachers from discussing topics related to critical race theory.

Texas state Representative Matt Krause asked the Texas Education Agency to investigate if schools had any books from a list of 850 that he thinks might be discomforting to students. In his letter he also asked the agency to look for any other books that “contain material that might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress.” He requested that their location and the amount of money spent to acquire the books be reported.

Danika Ellis, Associate Editor at Book Riot, did an analysis of all 850 books on Krause’s list. She found glaring problems with how the list was put together calling it “a weird, jumbled mess.” In her analysis around 60 percent of the list related to books that deal with LGBTQ issues. The remainder are presumably on the list because of race matters, sex education and talking about pregnancy or abortion.

Books that have been banned in Texas

Some school districts have already started taking books off their shelves even without objections from parents. An investigation by NBC News found that 400 titles dealing with race, sexuality and gender were removed from school libraries in the North East Independent School District in San Antonio. No formal complaint has been filed for their removal but administrators did so using Rep. Krause’s list to review them under the new state law.

The Katy Independent School District outside of Houston has already decided that nine books are not appropriate for students at any grade level from at least 30 that it is reviewing. Under the district's policies it cannot open a review without a formal challenge to a book, but most of the books never received any such challenge.

Books banned by Katy Independent School District

  • "All Boys Aren't Blue" by George M Johnson
  • "Forever for a Year" by BT Gottfred
  • "The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy" by BT Gottfred
  • "Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)" by LC Rosen
  • "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison
  • "Losing the Girl: Book 1" by MariNaomi
  • "Me Earl and the Dying Girl" by Jesse Andrews
  • "The Nerdy and the Dirty" by BT Gottfred
  • "Out of Darkness" by Ashley Hope Pérez

The Granbury Independent School District near Fort Worth confirmed at the end of January that it had removed another 125 books from shelves. The district had previously decided to permanently remove five young adult fiction books, all written by Abbi Glines. The other books will be reviewed with a spokesperson telling WFAA that most of the books would likely return to shelves but was not forthcoming with a timeline.

Nor has the district complied with a records request for the titles that have been pulled, but Christopher Tackett a parent in the district tweeted out a photo of a list he was given in response to his request. Additionally, he posted a photo of boxes being removed from the library that had “Krause List” on the side.


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