Banned Books Week at the Midlothian Library

We want to start our Banned Books Week celebrations by getting you to visit your Tyler libraries!  Yes, come to the physical space of the library and browse our Banned Books display at the Midlothian campus to see what titles we have to offer.   This year’s Banned Books Week is centered around celebrating the titles that encourage and promote diversity through their content. The books that Midlothian has on display highlight some of the most frequently banned or challenged books with diverse content according the the records held by the American Library Association (ALA). If you would like to see the full list of most challenged or banned books with diverse content, visit the ALA page here: 

In addition to the books on the diverse content list, ALA also provides information on other frequently challenged or banned books:

If you can’t make into the library, we can settle with a virtual browse.  Here are the titles you can find on display with Midlothian and the reasons the are challenged/banned:

Sherman Alexie

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

Reasons for being challenged or banned:

Pulled from the Meridian, Idaho, high school supplemental reading list (2014) after some parents complained that the novel “discusses masturbation, contains profanity, and has been viewed as anti-Christian.” School board members rejected a committee recommendation that the book should stay on the tenth-grade English supplemental reading list with parental permission required. Challenged at the Cedar Grove Middle School in Wilmington, N.C., (2014) because “the book contains numerous depictions of sexual behavior, as well as instances of racism, vulgar language, bullying, and violence.” Attached to the complaint was a petition signed by 42 members of the complainant’s church, Soldier Bay Baptist. The complainant is not the parent or grandparent of a child at Cedar Grove. District policy states that parents or guardians who do not approve of school reading materials may request alternative texts. Suspended from the Highland Park, Tex., Independent School District’s approved book list (2014) by the school superintendent. The decision sparked a backlash and drew national attention. The superintendent then reinstated the book. In February 2015, the school district trustees approved policy changes on how the district selects books and handles parents’ objections. The challenged contemporary young adult book is a National Book Award winner. It tells the story of a teenager who grows up on the Spokane Indian Reservation but leaves to attend an all-white high school in a farm town. The book has strong language, including racial slurs.

diary of a young girl

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Challenged, but retained in the Northville, Mich. middle schools (2013) despite anatomical descriptions in the book. Before the school district’s vote, ten free speech organizations signed a letter urging the Northville School District urging to keep the book. The letter, which was sent to the superintendent and board of education members, “emphasized the power and relatability of Frank’s diary for middle school students. Frank’s honest writings about her body and the changes she was undergoing during her two-year period of hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam can serve as an excellent resource for students themselves undergoing these changes.” The diary has now been published in more than sixty different languages and is on several lists of the top books of the twentieth century

Bless Me, UltimaBless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Retained in the Teton High School sophomore English class in Driggs, Idaho (2013) despite concerns about the novel’s mature content. Anaya’s best-known work, it was awarded the prestigious Premio Quinto Sol. President George W. Bush awarded Anaya the National Medal of Arts in 2002. In 2008, it was one of twelve classic American novels selected for The Big Read, a community-reading program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2009, it was in the list of the United States Academic Decathlon

Invisible ManInvisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Challenged, but retained on the shelves of the Randolph County, N.C. Schools’ high school libraries (2013) despite the book’s strong language. Ellison won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1953. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked the novel nineteenth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the twentieth century. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.


PersepolisPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Challenged, but retained on the Glenwood High School reading list in Chatham, Ill. (2014). A parent condemned the images of dismembered bodies and a guard using urine as a form of torture. The book tells the story of a young girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the reintroduction of a religious state. The graphic novel has been praised for teaching students about diversity and different points of view, but it also contains intense language, images, and themes

Curious IncidentThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Banned from the ninth-grade honors-level English reading list in the Wilson County, Tenn., schools (2014) due to offensive language. The book was removed from libraries and the possession of students soon after. The decision was later rescinded on the advice of the school board attorney due to possible conflict with a board policy. The award-winning book is about a 15-year-old autistic child who investigates the death of a neighbor’s dog.


The Kite RunnerThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Challenged, but retained as part of the Waukesha, Wis., West High School curriculum (2014) despite claims the book “desensitizes students to violence.” The New York Times best seller is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime. A number of adaptations were created following publication, including several stage performances and a graphic novel. The film of the same name was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007.

Bluest Eye Book CoverThe Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Challenged, but retained in the Durant, Okla., high school library (2014), despite a parent’s concerns over sexual and violent content. The 1970 novel was the first by the Pulitzer Prize winner




Cameron PostThe Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Removed from the Cape Henlopen school district’s summer reading list in Lewes, Del. (2014), due to language deemed inappropriate for entering high school freshmen. The book is set in rural Montana in the early 1990s. The parents of the main character, a teenage girl named Cameron Post, die in a car accident before finding out she’s gay. Orphaned, the girl moves in with her old-fashioned grandmother and ultraconservative aunt; she falls in love with her best friend—a girl. Selected for the 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults list by the Young Adult Library Services Association, the list includes recommended books for ages 12-18 that meet “the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens.”

Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Removed from eighth-grade classrooms at Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn, Ill. (2013) because of concerns about sexually explicit content and language. In June, the Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 School Board overturned the decision and returned the book to the library shelves. Most board members were willing to reinstate the book after assurances from district administrators that a revised parental notification letter would be sent at the start of each school year warning parents that their children could be getting access to sometimes mature content in classroom libraries. Published in 1999, the coming-of-age tale is about an introspective fifteen-year-old high school freshman that writes letters to an anonymous friend. Intelligent beyond his years, he is an unconventional thinker; yet, as the story begins, Charlie is also shy and unpopular. In 2012, a film adaptation of the novel was released to positive critical response and commercial success. The film won numerous awards. Challenged on a summer reading list for incoming freshmen at Wharton High School in Tampa, Fla. (2013) because “it deals with sexual situations and drug use.”

Whale TalkWhale Talk by Chris Crutcher

Reasons for being challenged/banned:

Removed from all five Limestone County, AK high school libraries (2005) because of the book’s use of profanity. Removed from the suggested reading list for a pilot English0literature curriculum by the superintendent of the South Carolina Board of Education (2005). Challenged at the Grand Ledge, MI High School (2005). Challenged at the Missouri Valley, Iowa High School (2007) because the book uses racial slurs and profanity.


All reasons for being banned/challenged were provided by the American Library Association’s yearly list of banned and challenged books, available at: 

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