Banned Books 2022 – Call Me Max

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


The Eanes Independent School District (ISD) in Austin (TX) stopped teaching Kyle Lukoff’s picture book Call Me Max after receiving parent complaints. The book was part of a list of suggested diverse books circulated by a district teacher and had not been adopted through the district’s curriculum review process. Call Me Max was the only title on the list whose teaching was prohibited. Parents also called for the termination of the teacher who read it aloud in the classroom Lukoff’s book tells the story of a young transgender boy discovering his identity. When the school district sent out an email stating that counselors were available for those who needed them, Lukoff responded “I spent eight years as an elementary school librarian, and am familiar with the situations where so many resources are expended to ensure the wellbeing of students and families–after the Sandy Hook shooting, for example, or after a death in the school, or some other crisis. Do you believe that a read-aloud about a transgender child is an equivalent trauma? How do you think transgender people in your community feel having their identities treated like a disaster?” The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) sent a letter to the Eanes ISD school board condemning the censorship. The NCAC also forced the school board to “publicly state that the teacher did not commit a terminable offense, nor any offense at all, and will not be disciplined for his or her good faith effort to comply with the District’s stated devotion to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

A third-grader in the Murray City (UT) School District (MCSD) brought a copy of Kyle Lukoff’s picture book Call Me Max to school. The student who owned the book wanted to share it with his class, so he asked his teacher to read it. Parents complained because the book was about a transgender child. The MCSD responded by suspending their Equity Book Bundle Program and Equity Council during Black History Month. Of the 38 books included in the Equity Book Bundle Program, only two were about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community: Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, for fifth graders, and Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History by Sarah Prager, for sixth graders. The primary focus of the Equity Council and book program was to help address race and racism by introducing students to authors who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Community members voiced their dismay that MCSD suspended their equity programs over an unrelated event in an effort to placate transphobic parents. “I feel it sends a terrible message to the LGBTQ+ community to pause this council for an incident that has nothing to do with them,” said Murray City District 1 Councilmember Kat Martinez. One parent wrote to the MCSD board that “These teachings in public schools are vital to increasing awareness and putting an end to bullying, depression, and suicide.” There is no timetable regarding when the Equity Book Bundle Program and Equity Council will be reinstated available from MCSD officials

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 24, 2022