Books written by Latino authors among those banned in Texas, nationwide

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 3:14 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The American Library Association designated the week of Sept. 18-24 as Banned Books Week and is raising awareness about efforts in Texas and the U.S. to remove books from school shelves.

The ALA - whose theme this year is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us” - is also working to detail “current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.”

According to The Associated Press, the American Library Association has documented 681 challenges to books through the first eight months of this year, involving 1,651 different titles.

“In all of 2021, the ALA listed 729 challenges, directed at 1,579 books. Because the ALA relies on media accounts and reports from libraries, the actual number of challenges is likely far higher, the library association believes,” the Associated Press reported.

Texas Tribune reported school districts across the state have recently banned more books than any other state and are specifically “targeting titles centering on race, racism, abortion and LGBTQ representation and issues.”

“School administrators in Texas have banned 801 books across 22 school districts, and 174 titles were banned at least twice between July 2021 through June 2022,” said the Texas Tribune in an article focusing on the new book banning report by PEN America.

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, sent a list of some 850 books about race and sexuality to school districts asking for information about how many of those are available on their campuses in October.

At the time, Krause said he was concerned about books that could cause students to feel “guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex or convey that a student, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

Soon after, Gov. Greg Abbott asked the Texas Education Agency to investigate the availability of “pornographic” books at school libraries.

Here is a list of some banned books by Latino authors:

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

“The House of Spirits” tells the story the story of the Trueba family across four generations in the supernatural abilities, strength, and wisdom of two powerful and mysterious women: his wife, Clara, and his granddaughter, Alba. The novel takes place in Chile throughout the 20th century leading up to the revolution of 1973 and was published 1982. The book has been challenged since its released due to ““pornagraphic”, “immoral” and “defaming the Catholic faith.”

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

“The House on Mango Street” is a novel of a series of vignettes of Esperanza Cordero, a 12-year-old Chicana girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago. The book was first released in 1984. The novel has been challenged “on the grounds that such reading material encourages skepticism against American values” such as in Arizona.

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

“Out of Darkness” tells the love story between a Mexican American teenage girl and a Black teen boy in 1930s East Texas and was published in 2015. The Young Adult novel has been challenged in three Texas school districts for “depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.The book is considered to be on the Top 10 Most Banned Books list.

The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X” tells the story of 15-year-old Xiomara, also known as “X” or “Xio,” works through the tension and conflict in her family by writing poetry. The novel was published by published March 6, 2018 by HarperTeen. The book has been challenged for “the novel is overtly “anti-Christian” and that the school’s use of the novel violates constitutional safeguards against government endorsement of religion.”