Banned Books 2023 – The Kite Runner

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


In response to one parent’s formal complaint, the Cedarburg High School (WI) removed The Kite Runner from the 10th grade curriculum while it was being used by two teachers. Though their child had been provided an alternate text to read, the parent believed the novel’s depictions of sexual assault, depression, and attempted suicide were inappropriate and requested that teaching of the novel be suspended for all current and future students.


The Protect Nebraska Children Coalition brought an extensive list of books to the Wauneta-Pallisade (NE) Public Schools board meeting and wanted the books removed from both the elementary and high school libraries. The list of more than 30 titles included The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman, and Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson. The books were removed for evaluation.

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 parent of a ninth grader at Park City (UT) School District expressed two concerns: first, that The Kite Runner‘s child rape scene could cause students who have been sexually abused further trauma, and second, that there were other school-approved novels whose sexual content violated criminal code. The school board said it would take all comments under consideration


Delayed but ultimately approved in August 2017 for use in the curriculum at the Conejo Valley (CA) Unified School District Board because of board president’s objections to sexuality and profanity in the book. Challenged but retained after a school district board member requested the novel be removed from the Advanced Placement English curriculum at Fishers (IN) High School, after discovering her daughter reading it. The parent objected to its inclusion of same-sex gang rape scene and depiction of distrust in adults. The book was retained in the curriculum, and teachers sent an end-of-the-year letter to parents, offering an alternative assignment if requested. Higley (AZ) Unified School District removed Khaled Hosseini’s contemporary classic from the English curriculum, after 5 years of it being included on the list. Students at Williamsfield High School were in the middle of reading the book when it was pulled with no explanation. Students spoke up about the censorship and as a result, the administration shut down the high school newspaper.


Suspended, but later reinstated as approved reading at the Buncombe County (NC) schools. The complainant, a self-described “conservative government watchdog,” cited state law requiring local boards of education to include “character education” in the curriculum. She also said schools must teach sex education from an abstinence-only perspective. The book is used in 10th grade honors English classes and parents can request an alternative reading assignment for the child.


Challenged, but retained as part of the Waukesha (WI) High School curriculum despite claims the book “desensitizes students to violence.”


Challenged as optional reading in the 10th grade honors class at Troy (PA) area schools because the novel depicts a rape in graphic detail and uses vulgar language.


Challenged, but retained as part of Senior Advanced Placement English at the Valley High School in Jonesboro (AR). The issue arose after two patrons disapproved of a scene depicting male-on-male rape, sexual innuendo, and vulgar language, as well as religious content throughout the book. Challenged as optional reading in the tenth-grade honors class at Troy (PA) Area Schools because the novel depicts a sodomy rape in graphic detail and uses vulgar language.


Challenged as appropriate study in 10th grade honors English class at Freedom HS in Morganton (NC) because the novel depicts a sodomy rape in graphic detail and uses vulgar language. Retained in the Jackson County School District (Marianna, FL) after being removed from the required reading list for one class. The school board voted to retain the book in the library by a vote of five to two. Removed from the reading list at Centennial High School in Champaign (IL) due objections from a parent whose child was assigned the book for summer reading. Challenged in Burke County schools in Morgantown (NC) by parents concerned about the violence and sexual situations portrayed in the book.


Challenged as appropriate study in 10th grade honors English class at Freedom HS in Morganton (NC) because the novel depicts a sodomy rape in graphic detail and uses vulgar language.

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