Banned Books 2019 – George


Citing “sexual content,” issues of bullying, rebelling against police, and refusing to take medications, George, Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart, and I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel were challenged at the Andover (KS) Public Library. The request was to remove the books from the children’s area. After a review process, the library decided to retain them all as cataloged. When the decision was appealed by the parents, the library board voted to retain the books. The Tigard-Tualatin School District (King City, OR) considered requiring a parental permission slip before allowing elementary school-aged students to read Gino’s fictional story of a 10-year-old transgender girl whom the world sees as a goy named George. However, some parents objected to the proposal. News reports indicate that the school planned to hold a meeting with staff and parents to review the book, then decide what,
if any, actions to take. The Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) is a voluntary competition that encourages students to read from a vetted list of books and answer questions in a quiz-style event. Included on the 2018 list was George, a book about a transgender child. Four elementary schools in the Cascade school district chose to withdraw from the competition. The Hermiston School District barred its elementary students from participating in the statewide reading competition, allowing only the district-level competition that did not include George. Bend and Tigard-Tualatin school districts also discussed participating in the OBOB with the full reading list. Over 2,000 signatures were collected on a petition to reject any ban on George and other books that provide visibility and support for LGBTQIA+ individuals. The OBOB executive committee and the Oregon Association of School Librarians retained the book on the 2018-2019 reading list.


Removed from a set of award-winning books that the Wichita (KS) School District purchased for all 57 Wichita elementary schools, but school librarians can purchase with their own funds. The supervisor of library media for the Wichita district stated that the book about transgender 4th grader contains language and references that are not appropriate for young children.


Challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.”


A BANNED book has been removed from a library, classroom, etc.
A CHALLENGED book has been requested to be removed from a library, classroom, etc.

For additional information contact:

Ron Titus,
(304) 696-6575