Banned Books 2023 – Melissa (previously published as George)

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


In January, a Public Library in Idaho received a request to reconsider Melissa from a patron who claimed it led to the “normalization of gender dysphoria.” The book was retained without restriction.

On February 21, Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor announced his department would review 51 titles found in public school libraries to determine if they violate state obscenity laws. Complaints from the Tulsa County Moms for Liberty chapter and from Reclaiming Oklahoma Parent Empowerment spurred O’Connor’s investigation. It concluded two days later without finding that any of the books met the statutory definition of obscenity.


An online petition was directed to the superintendent and board of the Novi (MI) Community School District protesting the inclusion of “sensitive materials topics,” defined as “gender identity, sexuality and ideological activist behavior(s).” Titles included Melissa by Alex Gino, Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman, A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara, Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, Nicola Yoon’s short story “Super Human,” the poem “The Cost of Being a Girl” by Denise Frohman, and the poem “If a Princess Tries to Kidnap Your Daughter” by Carlos Andres Gomez. Also at issue was a concern about bullying of people who disagreed with each other. Among public comments at the board meetings, several trustees and district officials spoke on behalf of the district’s efforts
to be more inclusive. The titles apparently have been retained.

For bans or challenges when titled George

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