Banned Books Webquest – Banned on Account of Sex

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Books are often banned on the basis of SEX! In 1985 The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier was banned from the Stroudsburg (PA) high school library because… “It’s blatantly graphic, pornographic and wholly unacceptable for a high school library.”

It was also challenged at Beaver Local Board of Education Meeting in Lisbon Ohio in 2001 as a “pornographic book that should be removed from high school English Classes.”

In 2012, No Fear Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet, an easy-to-read version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet produced by Sparknotes, was banned because some parents in Liberty, South Carolina were furious that their kids were reading it in middle school. They said it’s too mature for their kids because it discusses sex.

Here’s a more recent example:

In 2021, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison was removed from the Colton (CA) Joint Unified School District’s core and extended reading list for English Language Arts classes during Black History Month, while remaining available in school libraries. Following pushback by other parents and some national press attention, the school board reversed its decision, restoring Morrison’s book to the curriculum list and adding five other books.

The Bluest Eye has been challenged several times in South Orangetown, but always retained in the curriculum.


Banned Books 2021 – The Bluest Eye.” Marshall Libraries, Marshall University, 7 Sept. 2021,

Source: Doyle, Robert P. Banned Books. Chicago: American Library Association,  2001. From the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom.
Doyle, Robert P., Books Challenged or Banned 2011-2012 .  Chicago: American Library Association, 20011-12.  From the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom.

Other reasons books are banned:

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