For Your Lunchtime Reading Pleasure: ACLU of Texas's Latest Banned Books Report

The ACLU of Texas just released its annual banned-books report, Free People Read Freely -- compiled with the assistance of former Washington Post reporter Myra MacPherson, mother of the late, great Leah Siegel. As in previous years, the report documents the books banned, restricted or given the okee-doke in school districts (and charter schools) statewide. Says the ACLU, "954 out of almost 1,300 districts answered our requests for information," leading to the latest tally: Eighty-seven titles were challenged, 20 were banned, and another 16 were put on "restricted" duty.

Dallas and Fort Worth ISDs, yet again, didn't make the report (whew) -- but Irving, Keller, McKinney, Lewisville and Rockwall are among the area districts that had more than a few books challenged by concerned parents. Among the causes for concern: It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health, Paranoid Park, The Hunger Games and, but of course, The Catcher in the Rye. McKinney's presently trying to figure out how to handle the Texas-set grrrrl-power She's Got the Beat: "A committee will meet to review the book; afterward, a report will be sent."

Incidentally, this year's report, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, features a lengthy Q&A with Mary McDonagh Murphy, author of Atticus, Scout & Boo. Consider it a bonus track.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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