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Texas Read-A-Thons
2002 Report
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Banned and Challenged Books in Texas Public Schools
2002-2003

Download the executive summary (PDF)
 

Title Author School District School Involved Use Reason for Challenge
Achingly Alice As an eighth grader, Alice is discovering her sexuality while at the same time experiencing the daily struggles of growing up with two brothers and a widowed father.

 

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

North East Independent School District (San Antonio)

Fox Run Elementary

Library

Sexual Content

 

Pleasant Grove Independent School District (Texarkana)

Pleasant Grove Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

Adventures of Super Diaper Baby

When their principal finds George and Harold causing havoc in the cafeteria, he assigns them an essay on good citizenship so they do not write another comic about their superhero, Captain Underpants. Instead George and Harold write about a new "superhero", Super Diaper Baby and his fight against evil Deputy Doo-Doo.

 

Dav Pilkey

Abilene Independent School District

Ortiz Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Other: References to bodily waste

Airframe

Casey Singleton's life is threatened when she is sent by her boss at Norton Aircraft to investigate the mysterious circumstances of an airliner incident which killed three and wounded 56.

 

Michael Crichton

Lumberton Independent School District

Lumberton Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Alice in April

Alice is just about to turn 13 and is expected to be the woman of the house to her father and brother. She also copes with boys critiquing the figures of the girls, and the abuse of a classmate who later commits suicide.

 

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Humble Independent School District

Riverwood Middle School

Library

Other: Inappropriate subject content for adolescents

Alice in Lace

Alice's eighth grade health class instructor has assigned the students real-life scenarios to write about, such as pregnancy, shoplifting, and planning a funeral. Alice and her friend Patrick are to plan their wedding and honeymoon, find an apartment, and buy furniture on a limited budget.

 

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Humble Independent School District

Riverwood Middle School

Library

Other: Inappropriate subject content for adolescents

Alice In Rapture, Sort Of

This book in the Alice series covers the summer between grade school and junior high, when Alice and her sixth-grade friend Patrick start dating.

 

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Humble Independent School District

Riverwood Middle School

Library

Other: Inappropriate subject content for adolescents

Alice on the Outside

Alice is in the eighth grade and wonders about her relationship with her boyfriend, Patrick. She gains some insight into the nature of prejudice from a week-long consciousness-raising exercise at school, and must deal with a crush that another female student has on her.

 

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Columbia-Brazoria Independent School District (West Columbia)

Charlie Brown Intermediate

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

 

Humble Independent School District

Riverwood Middle School

Library

Other: Inappropriate subject content for adolescents

 

Linden-Kildare Consolidated Independent School District (Linden)

Linden-Kildare Junior High

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

 

McKinney Independent School District

Scott Johnson Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

All But Alice

Entering seventh grade, motherless Alice decides that she should try to find universal sisterhood. On her quest she joins a series of girls' clubs and is disillusioned. She also must deal with her father's dating and decide whether she should stick with her boyfriend Patrick.

 

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Columbia-Brazoria Independent School District (West Columbia)

Charlie Brown Intermediate

Library

Sexual Content

Alpha and the Dirty Baby

A young girl must outwit the family of imps that changed her parents into a lump of coal and an egg in order to get them back to normal.

 

Cole Brock

Abilene Independent School District

Ward Elementary

Library

Violence or Horror Mysticism or Paganism

Anastasia Krupnik

Anastasia, a precocious ten-year-old girl, keeps lists of things she loves and hates in a notebook, has a difficult time dealing with her mother's recently-announced pregnancy, falls for a 6th grader of a different race, tries being Catholic, and deals with the death of her grandmother.

 

Lois Lowry

New Braunfels Independent School District

Lone Star Elementary

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging

Humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl. She tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome Robbie.

 

Louise Rennison

Houston Independent School District

West Briar Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

 

Irving Independent School District

Lamar Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

Animalia

Animalia is an ABC book using alliteration to teach each letter of the alphabet along with pictures of random objects.

 

Graeme Base

Seguin Independent School District

McQueeney Elementary

Library

Violence or Horror

Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories

This book is a collection of six short stories whose protagonists learn about tough situations in life through their involvement in sports.

 

Chris Crutcher

Gregory-Portland Indepenent School District (Gregory)

Gregory-Portland Junior High School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events

First in a series of stories about the Baudelaire children. Their sad tale begins with the loss of their parents in a fire and their subsequent life with mean Count Olaf whose only desire is to obtain the children's inheritance.

 

Lemony Snickett

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston)

Sheridan Elementary School

Curriculum

Other: Discusses child abuse and negative thoughts

The Beet Fields

For a 16-year-old boy out in the world alone for the first time, every day is an education in the hard work and boredom of migrant labor and teaches him more about friendship, hunger, or profanity. He joins a carnival and becomes a grunt, running a ride and shilling for the geek show.

 

Gary Paulsen

Rivercrest Independent School District (Bogata)

Rivercrest Junior High School

Library

Sexual Content

Bless Me, Ultima

Antonio, a young Hispanic boy in New Mexico, faces a complex maturation process after Ultima, a "curandera," comes to live with his family. Antonio is torn between his traditional Catholic beliefs and the influence of Ultima, who cures with herbs and uses supernatural forces to combat evil in their midst.

 

Rudolfo Anaya

Hubbard Independent School District

Hubbard High School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content Violence or Horror Mysticism or Paganism

 

Van Vleck Independent School District

High School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

Body of Christopher Creed

Chris Creed is the school misfit who disappears one day. Speculation is that he has committed suicide, run away, or is a victim of crime. Torrey Adams becomes concerned (out of guilt) and begins to look for Chris. He finds that some mysteries are meant to be overcome rather than solved.

 

Carol Plum-Ucci

McKinney Independent School District

Faubion Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Born Too Short: The Confessions of an Eighth-Grade Basket Case

Matt Greene is short, lacks sexual experience, and has a cracking voice. He envies his best friend, Keith Livingston, who is tall, good-looking and very attractive to girls. One night, after Matt vents his frustration through a series of nasty wishes, Keith's fortunes start to turn sour while Matt's life takes a positive turn.

 

Dan Elish

Arlington Independent School District

Nichols Junior High School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

Brave New World

This novel describes a utopian state in which everyone consumes daily doses of  "soma", babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is "Feelie", a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Bernard senses that his relationship with a young woman has potential beyond the confines of their normal existence.

 

Aldous Huxley

South Texas Independent School District (Mercedes)

Science Academy

Curriculum

Sexual Content

Bridge to Terabithia

Jesse's dull rural world expands when he becomes friends with Leslie, the new girl in school, and they create a secret world of Terabithia beneath a tree. When Leslie dies while trying to reach it in a storm, Jesse struggles to deal with her death and the effect her life had upon his.

 

Katherine Peterson

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston)

Sheridan Elementary School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Las Brujas (The Witches)

A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, an expert on witches, thwart a witches' plot to destroy the world's children by turning them into mice.

 

Roald Dahl

Pasadena Independent School District

Parks Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Buried Onions

Eddie tries to escape from the poverty and gang society that surround him by taking classes and staying away from his old gang friends. But when his cousin is killed, his aunt urges him to go after the murderer. Eddie tries to leave the neighborhood by taking a landscaping job, but this job goes awry. He joins the military and hopes that this decision will give him his best chance yet for a good life.

 

Gary Soto

Victoria Independent School District

Juan Linn Elementary

Library

Violence or Horror

Cave Under the City

Tolly, twelve, and his brother, Bubber, six, are growing up in the Bronx during the Depression. Their father must leave home to find work, and their mother and grandmother are too ill to care for them. The boys take to the streets to avoid being taken by the authorities and separated.

 

Harry Mazer

Darrouzett Independent School District

Darrouzett Elementary

Library

Other: Inappropriate themes

The Cay

In April, 1942, following the torpedo blast that sinks his Virginia-bound ship, eleven-year-old Phillip Enright is left blinded and stranded on a saltwater cay with a large Negro named Timothy. Phillip learns to trust and love Timothy in order to survive.

 

Theodore Taylor

Terrell Independent School District

Wood Intermediate School

Library

Other: Racial remarks, prejudice

Children, Violence, and Murder

Causes of violent crime involving children as well as attitudes toward child criminals are explored. Case histories of young murderers, and tragedies such as the Columbine High School shooting, are profiled.

 

Richard Worth

Wharton Independent School District

Wharton Junior High School

Library

Violence or Horror

The China Garden

Seventeen-year-old Clare Meredith goes to Ravensmere, an English estate, to vacation prior to entering university. She begins to have psychic visions and senses that she has been to the area before, and local villagers seem to recognize her. She is mysteriously drawn to midnight walks in an abandoned "China Garden," and subsequently becomes romantically involved with a young biker named Mark.

 

Liz Berry

Cleburne Independent School District

Cleburne Middle School

Library

Sexual Content Mysticism or Paganism

The Chocolate War

Stunned by his mother's recent death and appalled by the way his father sleepwalks through life, Jerry Renault, a New England high school student, ponders the poster in his locker -- "Do I dare disturb the universe?" Jerry defies the school bully, Archie, and is at first a hero -- then a victim.  Citations include "ALA Best Book for Young Adults."

 

Robert Cormier

Dime Box Independent School District

Dime Box High School

Curriculum

Sexual Content Violence or Horror Other: Contradicts character education

Christmas Sonata

A young boy and his mother travel to northern Minnesota to spend Christmas 1943 with relatives. The boy and his cousin, who is dying, declare that there is no Santa Claus. The boy's uncle overhears the conversation, and succeeds in restoring the children's faith in the spirit of Christmas.

 

Gary Paulsen

Irving Independent School District

Barton Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

The Cold One

The lives of several strangers in various parts of the world intersect when they all become the target of "The Cold One," an ancient, supernatural evil being.

 

Christopher Pike

Linden-Kildare Consolidated Independent School District (Linden)

Linden-Kildare Junior High

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

Crazy Lady

Junior high isn't as easy as Vernon Dibbs expected. Since his mother died a couple of years ago, his life seems a little lost. To make some money and stay out of trouble, he begins tutoring the son of his alcoholic neighbor, Maxine. Vernon develops a bond with Maxine's son and helps her learn that giving up her son will give him greater opportunities.

 

Jane Leslie Conly

North East Independent School District (San Antonio)

Fox Run Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Cut

Thirteen year-old Callie is confined to a mental hospital, Sea Pines, because she cuts herself with sharp objects. She gradually improves and responds to therapy.

 

Patricia McCormick

Bandera Independent School District

Bandera Middle School

Curriculum

Other: Inappropriate subject matter

Deal With it: A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a Gurl

"Growing up" questions for young girls are answered in a frank and forthright manner. Topics include pimple remedies, masturbation techniques, anxiety, and depression. With Rebecca Odes and Heather McDonald.

 

Esther Drill

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston)

Cypress Springs High School

Library

Sexual Content

Detour for Emmy

Emmy is an ideal and popular student through the eighth grade. Then, in the ninth grade, she falls in love and becomes pregnant. Bewildered, she faces the consequences as best she can -- demonstrating both bravery and weakness.

 

Marilyn Reynolds

Elgin Independent School District

Elgin Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

Die Softly: Die Softly

Herb secretly photographs the school cheerleaders while they are showering and inadvertently gets one photo of someone sneaking up on one of the girls with a baseball bat. The same girl reportedly dies in an auto accident just afterwards, causing Herb to suspect that the girl was dead before the accident occurred. Herb becomes a suspect for murder.

 

Christopher Pike

Houston Independent School District

P. Henry Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Dove Song

When teen-agers Bobbie Lynn and Mason's father is sent to Viet Nam, their mother suffers from extreme depression and neglects them. After the father becomes "missing in action," the mother's depression becomes debilitating and the children are eventually forced to seek help from the parents of their new friends, the Feeneys.

 

Kristine L. Franklin

Northside Independent School District (Vernon)

Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Draw Me a Star

The artist tells a young child to draw a star, then the star tells him to draw a Sun, then a man and a woman and so on until a "universe" is created. The story is based on the author's memory of stories told to him as a child by his grandmother.

 

Eric Carle

Aldine Independent School District (Houston)

Magrill Elementary

Library

Sexual Content Other: Nude illustration

Dream Wolf

Tiblo and his sister Tanksi, young Indians living in the great plains, become lost while picking berries in the mountains. After a wolf leads the children back home, the tribe adopts a new attitude towards the "Wolf People."

 

Paul Goble

Bullard Independent School District

Bullard Elementary

Curriculum

Mysticism or Paganism

Drive-By

Twelve year-old Tito is left to help care for his sister in the aftermath of his older brother Jimmy's murder by fellow gang members. He soon learns that the murder was a result of Jimmy's skimming drug money, and that he is now expected to pay up.

 

Lynne Ewing

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston)

Bleyl Middle School

Library

Violence or Horror Other: Suggestive of gangs

Early Sunday Morning: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941 (Dear America Series)

Twelve year-old Amber moves to Hawaii in 1941. Her diary notations include her experiences during the move and the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of that year.

 

Barry Denenberg

Garland Independent School District

Steadham Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Empress of the World

Fifteen year-old Nicola, while attending a summer program for gifted children, falls in love with another girl. Nicola is startled by the realization and tries to sort out her identity.

 

Sarah Ryan

Grand Prairie Independent School District

Arnold Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

The Exchange Student

In the year 2094, Daria's mother takes in an exchange student from the planet Chela. Unknown to them, Fen (the exchange student) is secretly conspiring to take some earth animals back to Chela, where animals have become extinct because of wildlife conservation practices there.

 

Kate Gilmore

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston)

Cook Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

The Face on the Milk Carton

High school student Janie Johnson is shocked when she recognizes a missing child's picture on a milk carton as herself. Throughout the book Janie attempts to piece together her past, eventually confronting her parents and learning that they are actually her grandparents.

 

Caroline B. Cooney

Flour Bluff Independent School District

Flour Bluff Intermediate School

Curriculum

Sexual Content Other: Challenge to authority

Fallen Angels

Perry, a Harlem teen-ager, is sent to the front lines in Viet Nam in the '60's, where he faces death in face-to-face confrontations with the Viet Cong. As he struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why the black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and even why U. S. troops are there at all. Winner of the 1989 Coretta Scott King award.

 

Walter Dean Myers

Gilmer Independent School District

Gilmer High School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Other: Racial epithets

Forever

This story of first love between teen-agers involves sexual activity, separation and loyalty, parental relationships, and other young adult issues surrounding romantic relationships.

 

Judy Blume

Houston Independent School District

P. Henry Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

 

Linden-Kildare Consolidated Independent School District

Linden-Kildare Junior High

Library

Sexual Content

The Fountainhead

Howard Roark is an architect who has independent and innovative ideas.  As he struggles to find his own way, he is almost destroyed by Dominique Francon, his lover, and a series of other antagonists. Roark exemplifies the author's philosophy, which is based on the idea of the human ego as the "fountainhead" of all progress and on the virtue of selfishness.

 

Ayn Rand

Dublin Independent School District

Dublin High School

Curriculum

Sexual Content Other: Adult theme Other: Length of book

Gerald's Game

Gerald and his wife Jessie experiment with a bedroom game that involves handcuffing Jessie to the bedpost. Things go awry and Jessie ends up stranded for 28 hours in the same room with her husband's corpse.

 

Stephen King

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston)

Jersey Village High School

Library

Sexual Content Violence or Horror Other: Discusses incest

Ghost Girl

Torey Hayden attempts to communicate with a young girl named Jadie, who never speaks or shows any kind of emotion to anyone.  When Jadie finally does reveal her story, the nightmare is too horrendous to contemplate.

 

Torey L. Hayden

McKinney Independent School District

Scott Johnson Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

Ghost of a Chance

Melissa Soul is a sixteen-year-old whose parents are divorcing -- and there are other problems. Her best friend Chloe introduces her to James, and both girls fall in love with him. The situation is further complicated since James is a ghost who can be in two places at one time -- and gives new meaning to "two-timing."

 

Laura Peyton Roberts

Kerrville Independent School District

Nimitz Elementary

Library

Sexual Content

Goddess of the Night (Daughters of the Moon, 1)

Vanessa, Catty, Serena, and Jimena are the mortal daughters of the moon goddess Selene. They have been sent to earth to battle Atrox, the forces of darkness. Each of the four has a special but different supernatural talent, and all must work in unison to be successful against the forces. When Catty, who can travel through time, disappears, they wonder if she is a victim of Atrox.

 

Lynne Ewing

Fort Bend Independent School District (Sugarland)

First Colony Middle School

Library

Violence or Horror Mysticism or Paganism

Goosebumps and R.L. Stine Series

Multi-part series of stories involving ghosts, goblins, and scary happenings.

 

R.L. Stine

Houston Independent School District

Port Houston Elementary School

Library

Violence or Horror

The Grapes of Wrath

Story of the Joad family who travel to California after their farm has been destroyed by the effects of  "The Dust Bowl" drought. Their trip exposes the family to the hardships of surviving during the Depression. The Joad's experience loss of several family members and the hope for steady employment when they finally reach California. Steinbeck's novel uses the Joads' story to symbolize the plight and endurance of migrant farm workers in America.

 

John Steinbeck

Smyer Independent School District

High School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

The Great Gilly Hopkins

Gilly is a precocious eleven-year-old girl who has lived with several foster families, all of which she has disliked intensely. She is sent to live with the Trotter family, the strangest so far, and devises a scheme to persuade her real mother to take her away. The plans do not work out to Gilly's expectations, and she begins to wonder if she would rather stay with the Trotters.

 

K. Patterson

Lingleville

Lingleville

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Grizz

Retold Grimm brothers' fairy tale about a young suitor who makes a pact with the devil to not groom himself in return for the hand of a young woman and great wealth.

 

Eric A. Kimmel

Corpus Christi Independent School District

T.G. Allen Elementary

Library

Mysticism or Paganism

The Grooming of Alice

Continuing story of Alice and her friends -- about to enter ninth grade -- and their struggles with adolescence, friendships, family and first love.

 

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Humble Independent School District

Riverwood Middle School

Library

Other: Inappropriate subject content for adolescents

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter is in his second year at the Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Old friends and new torments abound, including a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girl's bathroom, a conceited professor, and a mysterious force that turns Hogwart students to stone.

 

J.K. Rowling

Blooming Grove Independent School District

Elementary

Library

Mysticism or Paganism

 

Tatum Independent School District

Tatum High School

Curriculum

Mysticism or Paganism

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter is in his fourth year at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He attends the Quidditch World Cup with Ron and Hermione during the summer. Back at school, someone mysteriously enters Harry name to compete in the dangerous "Tri-Wizard Tournament."

 

 

J.K. Rowling

Blooming Grove Independent School District

Elementary

Library

Mysticism or Paganism

 

Tatum Independent School District

Tatum High School

Curriculum

Mysticism or Paganism

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter is in his third year at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is threatened by the evil Sirius Black, convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse and recently escaped from Azkaban prison.

 

J.K. Rowling

Blooming Grove Independent School District

Elementary

Library

Mysticism or Paganism

 

La Feria Independent School District

C.E. Vail Elementary

Library

Other: Use of the word "bitch"

 

Tatum Independent School District

Tatum High School

Curriculum

Mysticism or Paganism

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

First in a series of books chronicling Harry Potter's adventures at the Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Raised by a non-wizard "muggle" aunt and uncle, Harry does not know that his parents were wizards and he is famous in the wizard world. He is summoned to attend the infamous school and has the first of many adventures.

 

J.K. Rowling

Blooming Grove Independent School District

Elementary

Library

Mysticism or Paganism

 

Houston Independent School District

Golfcrest Elementary School

Library

Other: Parent's religious beliefs

 

Tatum Independent School District

Tatum High School

Curriculum

Mysticism or Paganism

Hello, I Lied

Story of a seventeen year-old gay teen, Lang, and how his relationship with an older actor becomes complicated when Lang gets emotionally involved with a young French woman.

 

M.E. Kerr

Brenham Independent School District

Brenham Middle School

Library

Other: Homosexual Content

Hoops

A high school basketball player from Harlem is befriended by a former professional player who, after being forced to quit because of a game-related scandal, hopes to prevent other young athletes from repeating his mistake.

 

Walter Dean Myers

McKinney Independent School District

Scott Johnson Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

House of the Spirits

Epic tale of a South American family, the Truebas, in an unidentified county that appears to be Chile, with a focus on a young girl who becomes the matriarch of the clan. Clara has telepathic abilities, can read fortunes, make objects move, and predict the future. The book focuses on the extended family and their relationships in the context of the political/military oppression of the country.

 

Isabelle Allende

Leander Independent School District

Leander High School

Curriculum

Sexual Content

How Sex Works

The book is intended to facilitate discussion of sexual issues between parents and their children, and includes photographs and sketches showing, among other things, proper insertion of birth control devices and sexual positions. Puberty, love, pregnancy, sexual myths, and reproductive health are but a few of the topics discussed.

 

Elizabeth

Fenwick

Fort Bend Independent School District (Sugarland)

Stephen F. Austin High School

Library

How to Eat Fried Worms

Because of a bet to win a mini-bike, ten year-old Billy has to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days.

 

Thomas Rockwell

Liberty Independent School District

San Jacinto Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

I Have to Go

Little Andrew struggles with learning to adjust his needs to the adult world and its expectations. The book is targeted to preschoolers "in the throes of toilet training."

 

Robert Munsch

Corsicana Independent School District

Elementary

Library

Other: bathroom humor

 

Gonzales Independent School District

Gonzales Junior High

Library

Other: Use of slang word for urination

The Impact Zone

Jim runs away from his mother and stepfather to Hawaii, where he has various adventures and gets into surfing a treacherous wave called the Pipeline, or the "impact zone."

 

Ray Maloney

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston)

Dean Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

In the Night Kitchen

Mickey, a small boy, dreams of a "Night Kitchen" where he makes a cake with a cook that looks like Oliver Hardy and has an adventure looking for milk for the morning cake.

 

Maurice Sendak

Gilmer Independent School District

Gilmer Elementary

Library

Other: Naked child in illustration

Inner City Mother Goose

Revised versions of the traditional Mother Goose rhymes with a focus on inner-city political and social issues.

 

Eve Merriam

Bay City Independent School District

McAllister Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Violence or Horror Other: Homosexual content

Invisible Man

A classic since 1952 when it was first published, Invisible Man chronicles the trials and tribulations of the narrator, a young, nameless black man, as he experiences American intolerance and racism both in the South and in New York City.

 

Ralph Ellison

Van Vleck Independent School District

High School

Curriculum

Other: Content of beginning chapters

It

It (Derry) is a small town that is haunted by a mysterious evil force. Several people stumble upon the horror as teen-agers, then leave town to seek success in the world. As adults, they are mysteriously drawn back to Derry to once again face the nightmare.

 

Stephen King

East Central Indepenent School District (San Antonio)

Bexar County Learning Center

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content Violence or Horror Mysticism or Paganism

It's Halloween

Children's book of rhymes and illustrations about the holiday of Halloween. Illustrated by Marilyn Hafner.

 

Jack Prelutsky

Waco Independent School District

Alta Vista Montessori Elementary

Library

Mysticism or Paganism

It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health

Book for adolescents that explains the physical, psychological, emotional and social changes that occur during puberty. Includes watercolor and pencil illustrations of various body types to encourage teen self-acceptance. Illustrated by Michael Emberley.

 

Robie H. Harris

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston)

Aragon Middle School

Library

Sexual Content Other: Graphic drawings of sexuality

It's So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families

Written in comic book style, this book is directed towards assisting parents in talking to children about "where babies come from," and addresses topics such as conception, birth, love, sexuality and family. Illustrated by Michael Emberley.

 

Robie Harris

Hays Consolidated Independent School District (Kyle)

Tom Green Elementary

Library

Sexual Content

Jacob Have I Loved

Told from the perspective of one of a pair of twin sisters who feels inferior to her beautiful and talented sibling, the novel explores the strained relationship between the sisters and issues of jealousy, resentment, family relationships, and community life.

 

Katherine Paterson

Houston Independent School District

Elrod Elementary School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Jazmin's Notebook

Fourteen year-old Jazmin Shelby keeps a daily notebook where she records all the daily happenings of her life in 1960s Harlem. Jazmin has a mentally unstable mother in an institution, a dead father, and has been shuttled between foster homes and other temporary arrangements. With the help of her older sister CeCe and supportive friends and community she is able to avoid the pitfalls of drugs, violence and sexual activity and continues working towards her dreams.

 

Nikki Grimes

Mexia Independent School District

R.Q. Sims Intermediate

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy

The story of a kindergardener's adventure after she decides to become a hair dresser. She begins practicing her craft on her bunny slippers, the dog, and eventually on herself. When she goes to school wearing three hats to cover her experiments, her teacher is sympathetic and her dad exasperated. Junie finally solves the problem by asking her teacher for help.

 

Barbara Park

Houston Independent School District

Kolter Elementary

Library

Other: poor grammar example

Kissing Doorknobs

Tara is diagnosed at eleven years of age with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The story traces the progression of Tara's illness and the reactions of her family and friends, while also addressing anorexia, shoplifting, drug use, and unsafe sex. Nominated by the Young Adult Library Services Association as one of 1998's Best Books for Young Adults.

 

Terry Spencer Hesser

Pleasant Grove Independent School District

Pleasant Grove Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Knock a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry, 1982 Edition

Collection of poems accompanied by black and white pencil sketches.  Includes explanations of different types of poems and includes works by well-known poets like Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman, as well as lesser-known poets

 

X.J. Kennedy

Austin Independent School District

Williams Elementary School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

The Last Mission

Story of a young Jewish-American fifteen-year-old in 1944 who, dreaming of being a hero, lies about his age to enter the U.S. Air Force. After flying numerous successful bombing missions, Jack is shot down behind enemy lines and taken to a German POW camp.

 

Harry Mazer

Burkburnett Independent School District

Burkburnett Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

A Little Bit Dead

A young white man risks his life to save a Native American in the late 1800's. Eighteen-year-old Reece also falls in love with and marries an ex-prostitute and then adopts an orphan boy.

 

Chap Reaver

Pleasant Grove Independent School District

Pleasant Grove Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

Looking After Lily

A sequel to the 1992 Lily follows the 1880s adventures of sixteen-year-old Texas outlaw Haywood Beatty and his pregnant sister-in-law Lily, whose husband is in jail, as they struggle to lead respectable lives and begin a relationship together.

 

Cindy Bonner

Commerce Independent School District

Commerce Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Lysistrata

Ancient Greek play about an Athenian woman, Lysistrata, who is tired of the Greek city-states warring against each other. Lysistrata convinces all the women in town to deprive their husbands of sex until they agree to make peace.

 

Aristophanes

Stafford Municipal School District

Stafford High School

Curriculum

Sexual Content

Mars Crossing

Science fiction novel set in the year 2028. The crew of the Don Quijote are stranded on Mars when a technical mishap occurs, dooming their ship. Five of them set out for an abandoned Brazilian ship, but only three will be able to return home on that ship. It becomes evident that someone is determined to eliminate the others in order to return to Earth.

 

Geoffrey A. Landis

McKinney Independent School District

Scott Johnson Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

Meet the Werewolf (The Eerie Series)

The origins, habits, myths, legends, and famous case histories of werewolves.

 

Georgess McHargue

Longview Independent School District

Pinewood Park Elementary

Library

Other: Fantasy

More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Collection of scary "campfire" stories for young people, including hauntings, ghosts, and other eerie happenings.

 

Alvin E. Schwartz

Arlington Independent School District

Ellis Elementary

Library

Violence or Horror Mysticism or Paganism

Neverwhere

Story of a hard-working young man, Richard, who moves to London and gets a respectable job and a fianc‚e. After stopping one night to help out what appears to be an injured young girl named Door, he becomes invisible to people he knows and seems to have no identity. He ends up in "London Below," a city that exists in a parallel reality beneath the streets of London, where he embarks on a mission to destroy the Beast of London and find an angel.

 

Neil Gaiman

Houston Independent School District

Clifton Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

The Ones That Walked Away From Omelas

Short story about a fantasy world where the happiness of the inhabitants is based on the misery of one child. Most residents accept the reality that enables their happiness, while others cannot and choose to leave.

 

Ursula K. LeGuin

McKinney Independent School District

Scott Johnson Middle School

Library

Other: Inappropriate for reading level

The Outlaws

[Ed. note: We are unable to find any information on this book and have been unable to obtain verification of the title/author information submitted.  We are including the information as submitted by school officials, but cannot verify the accuracy of it.]

 

Unknown

Tom Bean Independent School District

Tom Bean Middle School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Violence or Horror Other: Instances of gang activity, smoking, and other inappropriate behavior

Outrageously Alice

In the ninth novel of the series Alice is entering eighth grade and longs for change. She experiments with clothes and wears her hair in green spikes to be outrageous. But though she is curious, she is also confused by sex and gender roles. A lingerie bridal shower for an upcoming wedding, a French kiss at a Halloween party, and problems in her friends' lives make her realize how much growing up she still has to do.

 

Phyllis Reynolds  Naylor

Humble Independent School District

Riverwood Middle School

Library

Other: Inappropriate subject content for adolescents

The Philharmonic Gets Dressed

Follows the 105 members of the Philharmonic Orchestra as they prepare for their evening's work, including illustrations of them bathing, powdering, shaving and dressing. Illustrated by Marc Simont.

 

Karla Kuskin

Mexia Independent School District

R.Q. Sims Intermediate

Library

Sexual Content

The Power of One

Story of a scrawny and friendless white boy growing up in South Africa during World War II. Peekay is befriended by two older men, one black and one white, who help him find his sense of self and his place in the world.

 

Bryce Courtney

Clear Creek Independent School District

Clear Brook High School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content Violence or Horror

A Prayer for Owen Meany

Owen Meany is a small boy with an eerie high-pitched voice who accidentally kills his best friend's mother with a baseball and comes to believe that he is an instrument of God to be redeemed by martyrdom.

 

John Irving

McKinney Independent School District

Scott Johnson Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Other: Adult content

Primal Myths

An anthology devoted to myths of creation.

 

Barbara C. Sproul

Colmesneil Independent School District

Colmesneil High School

Curriculum

Other: Racism

Saint George and the Dragon

Retelling for grade-schoolers of old tale of Saint George and the Dragon -- the wandering champion who became the patron saint of England. George of Lydda slays the dragon who has captured Sabra, the king's daughter, and then goes on to other dragons and other times. Illustrated by Nicki Palin.

 

Geraldine McCaughrean

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston)

Copeland Elementary School

Library

Violence or Horror

A Separate Peace

The novel is set in a prep school in New Hampshire during World War II. Friendship and jealousy between two boys -- Gene, a lonely, introverted intellectual, and Phineas (Finny), a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete, and what happens between them and within them one eventful summer.

 

John Knowles

Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District (Hamshire)

High School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Other: References to suicide

Shabanu

Eleven-year old Shabanu is given by her father, a nomad living in the desert country of Pakistan, is given in marriage to an older man she does not love for the purpose of increasing the family's wealth and prestige. Shabanu is faced with the decision of whether or not to accept her fate in accordance with tribal custom and her father's wishes, or risk considerable adverse consequences.

 

Suzanne Fisher Staples

Corsicana Independent School District

Middle School

Curriculum

Sexual Content

The Shining

The guests of the Overlook Hotel are dead but not necessarily departed. When a family checks in so that the father can write in the isolated setting, the forces of evil in residence contrive to drive them insane. The author's young son, who possesses psychic powers but does not know how to use them, struggles to save the family.

 

Stephen King

Lago Vista Independent School District

Lago Vista Middle School and High School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Violence or Horror

Silent to the Bone

After calling 911 to report that his baby sister has stopped breathing, young teen Branwell Zamborska stops speaking, is suspected of causing his sister's injury, and is put in a juvenile center. Told through the eyes of his best friend, the quest to solve the mystery of what really happened involves the attractive English au pair who lived with the family.

 

E.L. Konigsburg

Birdville Independent School District (Haltom City)

Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

Smack

British teen-agers Tar and Gemma run away from their respective abusive and alcoholic, or overly-restrictive parents to Bristol in search of freedom and end up squatting in a vacant building. They become addicted to heroin, and the book traces the gradual transformation and downward spiral of their lives and personalities.

 

Melvin Burgess

Victoria Independent School District

Juan Linn Elementary

Library

Sexual Content

Somebody Else's Kids

This book chronicles the struggles of a special education resource room teacher responsible for four special-needs children, including a twelve year-old who is pregnant, an eleven year-old boy whose early life was full of domestic violence, and a five-year-old with autism.

 

Torey L. Hayden

Crawford Independent School District

Crawford High School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content Violence or Horror

Song of Solomon

Macon Dead is an upper-class Northern black businessman trying to insulate his family from the danger and despair of the blacks in the neighborhood. The book follows Milkman Dead, Macon's son, as he struggles to understand his family history and the ways in which that history has both been damaged and transcended by slavery.

 

Toni Morrison

Newton Independent School District

Newton Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Speak

High school freshman Melinda loses her ability to speak after a senior rapes her at an end-of-summer party. Melinda struggles to find her voice in a dysfunctional family and among friends who consider her a traitor for calling the police, but confronts her rapist and triumphs in the end.

 

Laurie H. Anderson

McKinney Independent School District

C.T. Eddins Elementary

Library

Sexual Content

Stephen King

[no description available.]

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen

King

Brookeland Independent School District

All Schools

Library

Stotan!

Four high school swim team buddies join in a challenge by their coach to engage in Stotan Week -- a nonstop test of physical and emotional stamina. Each must confront their personal challenges and circumstances, and friendships, in a way that changes them forever.

 

Chris Crutcher

Pleasant Grove Independent School District

Pleasant Grove Middle School

Library

Sexual Content Violence or Horror Other: Suicide

A Stranger Came Ashore

Robbie, a Shetland Island boy, meets a man claiming to be the lone survivor of a shipwreck, but who is, in all likelihood, a ghost out to harm Robbie and his family.

 

Mollie Hunter

Gonzales Independent School District

Gonzales Junior High

Library

Mysticism or Paganism

Stranger in a Strange Land

Science fiction story of a man raised on Mars by Martians who arrives on Earth with no knowledge of Earth's cultures or religions. He espouses a religion of free love and psychic intervention which creates turmoil.

 

Robert Heinlein

South Texas Independent School District (Mercedes)

Science Academy

Curriculum

Sexual Content

Stuck in Neutral

Fourteen-year-old Shawn McDaniel has cerebral palsy and cannot walk or talk, but, unbeknownst to anyone, also has excellent cognitive abilities and is well-adjusted and happy. He discovers that his well-meaning father wants to kill him to end what his father believes must be a tortured life because of the physical disability. Told from the perspective of the boy, raises issues of the meaning of freedom, life and death, and parental responsibility.

 

Terry Trueman

Crawford Independent School District

Crawford Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content Violence or Horror

Take Away Three

Young adult fiction story of an affair in marriage.

 

Tana Reiff

Rivercrest Independent School District (Bogata)

Rivercrest Elementary School

Library

Other: Inappropriate for age group

The Teen-age Boy's Survival Guide: The Real Deal On Girls, Growing Up, and Other Guy Stuff

This American version of the 1997 British book Boys Behaving Badly covers issues of interest to teen-age boys, including dating, pimples, emotional ups and downs, fighting, masturbation, pornography, and the dangers of drugs.

 

Jeremy Daldry

White Settlement Independent School District

Brewer Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

Tell a Lie and Your Butt Will Grow

A perpetual liar, Zack's science-fair partner Andrew experiences surprising consequences involving a particular body part when he engages in bragging or lying -- consequences which threaten to jeopardize their bicycle-powered electrical generator science fair project. Cartoon illustrations by Jack E. Davis.

 

Dan Greenburg

Corsicana Independent School District

Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Then Again, Maybe I Won't

Tony Miglione's life changed forever when his father became rich from an invention. His family moved to a wealthy neighborhood on Long Island, where his new friend Joel shoplifts, his sixteen-year-old sister undresses in front of her window, and his Grandma won't come down from her bedroom. Besides his new life, Tony has questions about growing up.

 

Judy Blume

McKinney Independent School District

C.T. Eddins Elementary

Library

Other: Mature subject matter

True Believer

Fifteen-year-old LaVaughn is surrounded by poverty and violence, but strives to overcome it by imposing study, discipline and hard work in her life. When an attractive young man moves back to the neighborhood, all her best efforts are in jeopardy.

 

Virginia Euwer Wolff

Houston Independent School District

Poe Elementary

Library

Other: Adult content

Two Moons in August

Sixteen-year-old Sidonie and her family deal with their mother's death in a small town in Canada in 1959. Sidonie becomes close to a young man in the neighborhood who has an alcoholic father, and has to deal with an absent father and her sister's relationships and return home.

 

Martha Brooks

Pleasant Grove Independent School District

Pleasant Grove Middle School

Library

Sexual Content

Uncle Tom's Cabin

This 1852 novel of the pre-Civil War South that provides a historical look at the treatment of slaves and the institution of slavery at that time, including the tragic break-up of families.

 

Harriett Beecher Stowe

White Settlement Independent School District

Brewer High School

Curriculum

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Unfinished Dreams: A Novel

Sixth-grader Jason is an aspiring violinist who gets encouragement from his school principal. When the principal becomes ill with AIDS and is scorned by the community and his classmates, Jason defends him and experiences damaging personal consequences.

 

Jane Breskin Zalbin

McKinney Independent School District

C.T. Eddins Elementary

Library

Other: Inappropriate subject matter

Weird on the Outside

Teen-age Tracey Bascombe runs away to New York to escape her dysfunctional parents, and resorts to being a stripper named "Amanda" in order to survive.

 

Shelley Stoehr

Galena Park Independent School District

Cunningham Middle School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language Sexual Content

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod

Account of Gary Paulsen's experience running the Iditarod -- the 1150-mile winter sled-dog race between Anchorage and Nome -- as an inexperienced racer.

 

Gary Paulsen

McKinney Independent School District

C.T. Eddins Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Wonder

Jessica enters seventh grade suddenly unpopular and nicknamed after "Wonder Bread" based on her clothing choices. She perseveres with humor and determination and learns important lessons about friendship and self-esteem.

 

Rachel Vail

Corsicana Independent School District

Elementary

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

A World Out of Time

Jaybee Corbell travels three million years into the future to a homecoming on a transformed earth.

 

 

Larry Niven

Houston Independent School District

Eastwood Academy

Curriculum

Sexual Content

You Hear Me: Poems and Writings by Teenage Boys

Poems and brief essays written by boys aged twelve to twenty covering issues of identity, relationships with parents, friends, girlfriends, and emotional maturation.

 

Betsy Franco

White Settlement Independent School District

Brewer High School

Library

Profanity or Inappropriate Language

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Phaedrus, a university professor recently released from a mental hospital, takes a modern-day cross-country motorcycle trip with his son during which the maintenance of the motorcycle becomes an exploration of how humans can achieve more meaning in their life through the Zen principles of living in and appreciating the present.

 

Robert Pirsig

Hutto Independent School District

High School

Curriculum

Other: "Zen" in the title -- religious

   

 
 

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