Here are the books banned from Central Florida schools

Banned Book Week is Sept. 18-24

Some of the books banned in Brevard Public Schools.

ORLANDO, Fla. – In the last year, there have been more than 2,500 instances of books being pulled from shelves in schools across America as conservative groups coordinate efforts to target books for numerous reasons, typically related to race or gender themes.

Some of those efforts got their start here in Central Florida.

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PEN America, an international group that advocates for literacy freedom, released its report on the banned book movement Monday, as the annual Banned Books Week got underway.

PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans lists 2,532 instances of individual books being banned, and 1,648 unique book titles, between July 2021 and June 2022.

Of the books banned, 41% had LGBTQ themes, protagonists or prominent secondary characters. Forty percent had characters of color as primary or prominent secondary characters, with 21% of the titles dealing with issues of race and racism.

Twenty-two percent of the books banned had sexual content.

The majority of the bans come from parent-driven efforts with groups like Moms for Liberty, a Brevard County-based group that has since gone national, with chapters in almost every state. These groups are not only targeting books in schools, but they are branching out into public libraries, and are also campaigning to take on leadership roles in school districts.

Moms for Liberty said it is committed to “unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.”

The group also added it is advocating for limited government roles and fighting school indoctrination.

PEN America, and other Moms for Liberty critics, accuse the groups of using the term “parents’ rights” to undermine and intimidate education professionals and other parents.

“While parents and guardians ought to be partners with educators in their children’s education, and need channels for communicating with school administrators, teachers, and librarians, particularly concerning the education of their own children, public schools are by design supposed to rely on the expertise, ethics, and discretion of educational professionals to make decisions,” PEN America said in the report.

In Florida, groups have been galvanized by several laws passed by the Florida Legislature this year which give parents more tools to remove books they disagree with. This includes the Parental Rights in Education law, also known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, HB 1467, which allows for heightened scrutiny by the public of school library and instructional materials, and HB 7, also known as the “Stop WOKE” Act.

PEN America lists 566 bans in 21 districts in its index for Florida. This does not include three books banned from Seminole County elementary schools this summer.

We contacted every school district in Central Florida. Not every school district responded to our requests. The following is a combination of lists from the 10 Central Florida school districts that responded, or PEN America’s index.

We also asked if any other book-related activities, such as book fairs, donations, readings or classroom libraries have been stopped or banned. All of the school districts that responded to us said no.

UPDATE: Orange County Public Schools responded to News 6, stating that no books had been pulled from shelves in the district over the last 2 years. The information in the table below for OCPS contains data only from PEN America.

School District/SourceAuthorTitleStatus
Brevard County (PEN America, School district did not respond)Jesse AndrewsThe HatersBanned pending investigation
Elana K. ArnoldDamselBanned pending investigation
InfandousBanned pending investigation
Red HoodBanned pending investigation
What Girls Are Made OfBanned pending investigation
Judy BlumeForever...Banned pending investigation
Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a WallflowerBanned pending investigation
Juno DawsonThis Book is GayBanned pending investigation
Ellen HopkinsCrank (Series)Banned pending investigation
People Kill PeopleBanned pending investigation
TiltBanned pending investigation
TrianglesBanned pending investigation
Tricks (Series)Banned pending investigation
Khaled HosseiniThe Kite RunnerBanned pending investigation
Tiffany D. JacksonMonday’s Not ComingBanned pending investigation
George M. JohnsonAll Boy’s Aren’t BlueBanned pending investigation
Rupi KaurMilk and HoneyBanned pending investigation
Caroline KepnesYou: A Novel of Dark ObsessionBanned pending investigation
Maia KobabeGender Queer: A MemoirBanned pending investigation
Malinda LoLast Night at the Telegraph ClubBanned pending investigation
Sarah MaasA Court of Frost and StarlightBanned pending investigation
A Court of Mist and FuryBanned pending investigation
A Court of Silver FlamesBanned pending investigation
A Court of Thorns and RosesBanned pending investigation
A Court of Wings and RuinBanned pending investigation
Empire of StormsBanned pending investigation
House of Earth and BloodBanned pending investigation
House of Sky and BreathBanned pending investigation
Patricia McCormickSoldBanned pending investigation
Lauren MyracleThe Infinite Moment of UsBanned pending investigation
Jennifer NivenBreathlessBanned pending investigation
Ashley Hope PerezOut of DarknessBanned pending investigation
Amy ReedBeautifulBanned pending investigation
The Nowhere GirlsBanned pending investigation
Sally RooneyNormal PeopleBanned pending investigation
SapphirePushBanned pending investigation
Julia ScheeresJesus Land: A MemoirBanned pending investigation
Elizabeth ScottLiving Dead GirlBanned pending investigation
Alice SeboldLuckyBanned pending investigation
Ciara SmythNot My ProblemBanned pending investigation
Mariko TamakiThis One SummerBanned pending investigation
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.Slaughterhouse-FiveBanned pending investigation
Flagler County (School District Response)George M. JohnsonAll Boys Aren’t BlueBanned from high schools
Lake County (School District Response)Angie ThomasThe Hate U GiveBanned from middle school libraries and classrooms
Marion County (School District Response)None
Orange County (PEN America, School District responded saying no books had been pulled during the last 2 years)Jonathan EvisonLawn BoyBanned from libraries
Ellen HopkinsTricks (Series)Banned pending investigation
George M. JohnsonAll Boys Aren’t BlueBanned pending investigation
Maia KobabeGender Queer: A MemoirBanned in libraries and classrooms
Osceola County (School District Response)Jesse AndrewsMe, Earl and the Dying GirlBanned in libraries and classrooms
John GreenLooking for AlaskaBanned in libraries and classrooms
Ashley Hope PerezOut of DarknessBanned in libraries and classrooms
Ellen HopkinsTricks (Series)Banned in libraries and classrooms
George M. JohnsonAll Boys Aren’t BlueBanned in libraries and classrooms
Polk County (PEN America, School district did not respond)Jay AsherThirteen Reasons WhyBanned from libraries
Jonathan Safran FoerExtremely Loud & Incredibly CloseBanned from libraries
Alex GinoMelissa (George)Banned from libraries
Abbi GlinesThe Vincent Boys (series)Banned from libraries
Robie H. HarrisIt’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender and Sexual HealthBanned from libraries
Ellen HopkinsTricks (Series)Banned from libraries
Khaled HosseiniThe Kite RunnerBanned from libraries
Jazz Jennings and Jessica HerthelI Am JazzBanned from libraries
Brian KatcherAlmost PerfectBanned from libraries
David LevithanTwo Boys KissingBanned from libraries
E. LockhartReal Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural.Banned from libraries
Toni MorrisonBelovedBanned from libraries
The Bluest EyeBanned from libraries
Jodi PicoultNineteen MinutesBanned from libraries
Adam SilveraMore Happy Than NotBanned from libraries
Raina TelgemeierDrama: A Graphic NovelBanned from libraries
Seminole County (School District Response)Marcus Ewert10,000 DressesBanned from elementary schools
Jazz Jennings and Jessica HerthelI Am JazzBanned from elementary schools
Sarah Hoffman, Ian HoffmanJacob’s New DressBanned from elementary schools
Sumter County (School District Response)None
Volusia County (None listed on PEN America, no school district response)None

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.