Oct 25, 2023 - Education

Waukee schools considers banning 22 books from shelves

Illustration of a library due date card with the names of queer authors and activists written in rainbow colors.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Waukee school librarians are in the process of removing 22 books from shelves before Jan. 1, 2024.

Driving the news: The move comes as schools work to be in compliance with Senate File 496, a new law that bans books containing "sex acts" from schools.

  • Penalizations for not following it start Jan. 1.

State of play: The following is a draft list of books that could be marked for removal, Waukee schools spokesperson Kayla Choate tells Axios.

  • Books include both modern texts and classic novels.

The titles:

  • "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe
  • "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison
  • "All Boys Aren't Blue" by George M. Johnson
  • "Sex Plus" by Laci Green
  • "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman
  • "Let's Talk About It" by Erika Moen
  • "A Court of Mist and Fury" by Sarah J. Maas
  • "A Court of Wings and Ruin" by Sarah J. Maas
  • "A Court of Silver Flames" by Sarah J. Maas
  • "It" by Stephen King
  • "Looking for Alaska" by John Green
  • "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker
  • "Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng
  • "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher
  • "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur
  • "Home Body" by Rupi Kaur
  • "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou
  • "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" by Gregory Maguire
  • "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Piccoult
  • "Shout" by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • "Empire of Storms" by Sarah J. Maas
  • "The Haters" by Jesse Andrews

Of note: The Iowa Department of Education has set deadlines on its long-awaited guidelines for Senate File 496 but it is still unclear when schools will receive them, per the Register.


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