Banned Books 2020 – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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


After the book was included on the voluntary summer reading list of the Westmont (PA) Hilltop School District, there were complaints to the school board about “foul language,” “profane use of God’s name,” and a “negative portrayal of a character with autism or a similar disorder.” A curriculum committee recommended that the title not be included on the list. At the largest public turnout at a board meeting in recent memory (75 people), some people said there was a contradiction between the school’s ban on profanity and approval of the book that contains curse words. The board voted to retain the title. In the words of one board member, “I think that the value gained from understanding differences for this individual in particular far outweigh the language used.

A committee submitted a list of supplemental novels recommended for reading in English courses in Columbia County (GA) high schools and were specifically asked in an email the day before school began to provide a list of page numbers of any sex or rape scenes, graphic depictions, or profanity other than “hell” or “damn.” The superintendent said she was unwilling to approve Regeneration, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and Nic Stone’s Dear Martin because of the “explicit” and “unacceptable” content. A procedure was adopted that notifies parents about the use of controversial titles in the classroom and allows the parents to request redacted copies. The superintendent stated that the district does not have a process to decide what books are allowed in the media centers but will begin looking at a review procedure.


Pulled as a summer reading assignment in the Leon County (FL) schools because of the book’s content and language. Moved from required reading to optional reading at the Lincoln High School in Tallahassee (FL) after receiving about a dozen calls and emails about the book’s profanity and atheism. The award-winning book is about a 15-year-old autistic child who investigates the death of a neighbor’s dog.


Banned from the ninth-grade honors-level English reading list in the Wilson County (TN) schools due to offensive language. The book was removed from libraries and the possession of students soon after. The decision was later rescinded on advice of the school board attorney due to possible conflict with a board policy.


Removed from the Lake Fenton (MI) summer reading program after parents complained about its “foul language.” The book is about an autistic child who investigates the death of a neighborhood dog.


Challenged at the Galveston (TX) County Reads Day because the book could “pollute” young minds.

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 12, 2020