Banned Books 2022 – Montana 1948

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


Henry Sibley High School (West St. Paul, MN) administrators stopped lessons on John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Larry Watson’s Montana 1948 after receiving complaints about the books. Both parents and staff communicated “concerns about racist stereotypes and slurs” in Of Mice and Men, part of the ninth-grade curriculum. Teaching of Montana 1948 as part of the tenth-grade curriculum ceased in response to “concerns about the content . . . from our American Indian community” regarding a rape and murder of a Sioux housekeeper. The district is working on putting in place the proper policies and procedures for book challenges.


Administrators in the Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights (MN) have “paused” teaching two novels after community complaints about the books: Of Mice and Men was challenged for its use of the N-word, and Montana 1948 was challenged because of “concerns about the content . . . from our American Indian community.” In Montana 1948, the protagonist’s uncle sexually assaults, and later murders, the family’s Sioux housekeeper. These challenges against the use of racist language prompted the district to seek out and adopt protocols for challenging instructional materials.


Challenged, but eventually retained at the Merrill (WI) High School despite some parents complaining that it is “questionable reading material for their tenth-grade students because of language, and sexual and racist themes.” School leaders added it to the curriculum twelve years ago, saying it was a less controversial substitute for Catcher in the Rye. School leaders also said students have the option of reading a different book if they don’t feel comfortable with the one they’re assigned.

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 16, 2022