Banned Books 2023 – Lawn Boy: A Novel

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 to be sexually explicit.

An August LGBTQIA+ Pride display in the Huntsville Public Library (TX) prompted calls from members of a pressure group to remove LGBTQIA+ titles or place them in a restricted area of the library. In September, the city manager announced the public library would cease all book displays. In October, the Huntsville Police Department responded to a report that 85 books in the public library’s collection, including Lawn Boy, violated state obscenity laws. Most titles that were publicly disclosed prominently feature LGBTQIA+ themes and characters and had been included in the display. None of them were determined to be obscene. On December 20, the city council voted to turn management of the library over to a company owned by a private equity firm. The new management invited staff to reapply for their jobs.


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

A parent complained at a public board meeting of the Leander (TX) Independent School District that this Alex Award-winning and Booklist 2018 Editors Choice novel normalized sex acts between fourth graders and constituted pedophilia. Two parents filed complaints with the local police, who announced an investigation. District officials stated that the title was not part of the curriculum and was only available in the high school library. No formal written complaints were received — a step required by their policies to initiate a review — so the book was retained.

Parents of Tyler (TX) Independent School District students expressed concern that “something that can be found on Penthouse Forum” and considered “very graphic” is found in district school libraries. Parents submitted a list of 120 “questionable” books. Lawn Boy was banned.

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison 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 All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson. 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.

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.

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 21, 2023