HOUSTON (KXAN) - The number of books banned in Texas schools decreased during the past school year as more school districts have turned to "review committees" to rule on book challenges.
Texas schools banned 12 books last school year, 2011-2012, a decrease from the 17 taken from shelves the previous year and the lowest number in a decade.
Subjects that concerned parents, teachers and even a bus driver, included topics such as LGBT, teen and race issues; cursing and bad behavior; as well as "creepy illustrations."
"There's more awareness on the part of librarians and school administrators about how to handle complaints from parents," said Terri Burke, executive director. "Administrators are learning how to engage parents in the process when objections are raised by those who want to ban books with messages that are contrary to their personal beliefs."
"The ACLU of Texas absolutely respects parents' right to choose what books their children read and work with teachers to find alternate titles when parents have concerns. But efforts by a single parent or small group to ban a title and keep all students from reading it infringes on the rights of other parents to make their own choices. That is the effect of banning books," said Dotty Griffith, public education director.
The ACLU of Texas annually requests information on challenges to books from all Texas school districts and compiles the data in its banned books report, "Free People Read Freely."
The banned books are:
- Dark Rivers of the Heart, Dean Koontz
- Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, Rachel Cohn
- Call me Hope, Gretchen Olson
- Love and Other Four Letter Words, Carolyn Mackler
- Num8ers, Rachel Ward
- Sidekicks, Dan Santat
- 10,000 Dresses, Marcus Ewart
- The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, Dav Pilkey
- The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To, D.C. Pierson
- The Storm in the Barn, Matt Phelan
- Vampires, Jennifer Besel
- When is it Right to Die? Joni Eareckson
Books on the Restricted list are:
- A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemmingway
- A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah
- Beloved, Toni Morrison
- Bone series, Jeff Smith
- Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
- Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- City of Glass, Cassandra Clare
- Incredible Journey through the Human Body, Nicholas Harris
- Jake Reinvented, Gordon Korman
- Molly's Family, Nancy Garden
- Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
- Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World, Jennifer Armstrong
- Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
- The Awakening, Kate Chopin
- The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
- The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton
- The Princess Diaries, Vol VI: Princess in Training, Meg Cabot
- The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien
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