Banned Books 2023 – All Boys Aren’t Blue

Marshall University does not ban books! The information is provided to let people know what has been banned/challenged elsewhere.


Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered sexually explicit.

The Frisco Independent School District (TX) received requests for the reconsideration of 28 titles from state representative Jared Patterson. When 23 of them were retained on recommendation from review committees, Patterson appealed the decision. All Boys Aren’t Blue was among the titles removed on appeal.

Parents challenged 5 titles in Shawnee Heights Unified School District 450 (KS) libraries, including The Hate U Give, Gender Queer, and All Boys Aren’t Blue. State senator Rick Kloos publicly stated that he supported efforts to remove Gender Queer and held a meeting with school superintendent Tim Hallacy to discuss the matter. All five titles were retained


Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered sexually explicit.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson was one of five LGBTQIA+ titles challenged by a parent at the North Hunterdon-Voorhees (NJ) Regional High School District. The other titles were Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, and Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison. The parent read some snippets, called for audits, and threatened criminal charges for those responsible for providing “evil, wicked” content in the school. The school board voted to retain all five challenged LGBTQIA+ titles.

At the Flagler (FL) Palm Coast High School, a school board member filed an obscenity complaint with the Sheriff’s Office, which issued a statement that “no crime [was] committed” by including the book in public school libraries. A district committee voted unanimously to retain the title. The superintendent removed it permanently anyhow, although other challenged titles were retained.

Utah Parents United created a post highlighting some pages with sexual content and saying that the book was available at the Alta High School in The Canyons (UT) School District. Then one person wrote an email challenging eight other titles. The school’s reconsideration process called for any challenged book to remain on the shelf during review. However, all nine were removed without any committee input or public discussion. In an interesting follow-up, the ACLU threatened to file suit, and Utah Governor Spencer Cox suggested, “let’s pump the brakes on the idea of getting rid of books.”

The Wentzville (MO) R-IV School District created a committee to review challenges to several books, including The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson; Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel; Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon; Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero; Modern Romance: An Investigation by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg; Invisible Girl: A Novel by Lisa Jewell; and Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison. Ignoring the committee’s recommendations, the all-white school board voted to ban the book. The ACLU of Missouri sued the school district on behalf of two students.

At the Bedford County (VA) Public Schools, Moms for Liberty challenged The Bluest Eye along with Beloved, also by Toni Morrison, plus The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, #MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil, Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones, Rick by Alex Gino, Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark, Love Drugged by James Klise, and Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristin Cronn-Mills. The group said it objected to graphic depictions of sexual acts, violence, substance use, and LGBTQIA+ representation. Board members cited policy, which limited challenges to one book at a time. BCPS administrators and book review committees made the decision not to remove any of the challenged titles from school libraries.

A group of parents distributed flyers containing excerpts and illustrations from this and other books at a meeting of the Rockwood (MO) School District Board. After the meeting, they submitted requests for reconsideration of This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, Crank by Ellen Hopkins, Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, The Haters by Jesse Andrews, Looking for Alaska by John Green, Where I End and You Begin by Preston Norton, Heroine by Mindy McGinnis, and The Breakaways by Cathy G. Johnson, claiming the books were pornographic. A review committee of two teachers, two librarians, a curriculum coordinator, a school board member, four parents, and two high school students voted to retain all challenged titles. However, The Breakaways was restricted to students in fourth grade and up.

On These Pages

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,

Last updated

August 22, 2023