Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
A Romeo and Juliet style tragedy between Naomi Vargas, a Mexican girl, and Wash Fuller, a Black boy set at the scene of the tragic historical event of the 1937 bombing of a school in New London, Texas. The book explores the relationship between Naomi and Wash as they face the personal tragedies of racism and sexism and the larger disaster of the school bombing that killed 300 people.
Reason for ban: Out of Darkness was one of the Top Ten most challenged books in 2021 for its depictions of abuse and for its sexually explicit content.
A narrative history book about the intersection of shared civil rights struggles of African American and Latinx struggles. Ortiz challenges western history by looking at Jim Crow laws and Mexican labor organizations in order to paint a different perspective on early United States history. Ortiz does this while also offering ways to move forward in our continuous effort toward civil rights and equality.
Reason for ban: Put on Texas State Representative Matt Krause’s infamous book ban list which currently consisting of 850 books because they, in his words, “might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex.”
The Truth Is by NoNieqa Ramos
A beautiful story about fifteen-year-old Verdad, a Puerto Rican girl, who begins the story learning to grieve the recent death of her best friend. Along the way she meets and falls in love with the new guy at school, Danny—who also happens to be trans. Verdad now must deal with her mother’s prejudices against her relationship along with her grief for her friend in this open-hearted exploration identity, love, and self-worth.
Reason for ban: The Truth Is also appears in Matt Krause’s notorious list for making students feel uncomfortable around their race and sex.
Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova
The final book in the Brooklyn Brujas series, Wayward Witch surrounds the story of Rose Mortiz who is a brand-new bruja, or a powerful witch. Upon the return home of her amnesiac father, both him and Rose are ambushed and transported to the realm of fairies known as Adas where Rose is thrusted in working with a group trying to save Adas from a terrible fate. Córdova uses this novel to explore Hispanic folklore, family, and forgiveness all while in an action-packed fantasy setting.
Reason for ban: This book was banned once again in Texas for its content surrounding race.
Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro
Tasked with traveling and telling the stories of her troubled village, Xochitl wandered the desert speaking the stories into the wind. Xochitl’s true desire however is to find a kindred spirit to share her heart with. Her wish comes true one night in the form of Emilia—the beautiful daughter of the town’s conqueror. Both Xochitl and Emilia travel the desert together and discover the love they have for each other while trying to survive the dangers that lurk in the desert night.
Reason for ban: Each of Us a Desert was banned from a high school library for talking about racism and for its LGBTQ relationship.
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