Republican lawmakers in Texas are apparently picky readers. Some, like Fort Worth State Rep. Matt Krause, don’t want students perusing books on topics that might make them uncomfortable. In fact, Krause was so concerned about what your child is reading that last year he compiled a list of about 850 novels that he obviously wants off the school shelves.
Some titles are somewhat expected. Obviously, conservatives like Krause don’t want young minds to learn that the country’s history is deeply tainted with racism (slavery, Jim Crow, police brutality) or anything about sex. A whopping 35 titles that feature the word “abortion” appear on the list, which is timely now that the Supreme Court looks set to overturn Roe v. Wade. Discussions about gender won’t fly in Krause’s class either, especially those related to non-binary and transgender issues.
But Krause and company also seem determined to ban a number of books that, even from the perspective of a total cynic, are head-scratchers. Like, what does Wonder Woman have to do with anything?
Here are the 10 most absurd books Krause doesn’t want in Texas schools.
The year they burned the booksNancy Garden
In this fictional 1999 headline, a high school newspaper editor writes an op-ed outlining her support for the new sex-ed curriculum. At the same time, a conservative member of the school board attempts to censor the health curriculum, including its textbooks. Come on, Krause: banning a book about banning books is a bit on the nose, isn’t it?
The Confessions of Nat TurnerWilliam Styron
named one of Time magazinethe 100 best novels from 1923 to 2005, The Confessions of Nat Turner also won a Pulitzer Prize. No matter. Texas Republicans don’t want children reading about the Virginia slave revolt of 1831, which was led by the titular character and resulted in the deaths of approximately 55 white people.
The rules of the cider houseJohn Irving
This bestselling book was later turned into a two-time Oscar-winning movie starring Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine. In rural Maine, Homer Wells, an orphan and protégé of a doctor who performs illegal abortions, disapproves of the controversial procedure.
Avoid bullies? Skills to outsmart and stop themLouise Spilsbury
Avoid bullies details the different forms that bullying can take and provides readers with tools to deal with it. He also tells them “how to boost their self-esteem” and “how to help a friend”, as well as how to deal with adult bullies such as teachers and parents. Maybe the author can add a section on how to deal with bullies of lawmakers in the next edition.
Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside America’s Revival of White NationalismVegas Tenold
Far-right groups are quickly entering the political mainstream, as this 2018 book on racial violence and white nationalist groups like the KKK indicates. Nothing to see here, children.
The Gale Encyclopedia of MedicineJacqueline L.Longe
This comprehensive book covers dozens of medical issues in easy-to-read language, including symptoms, prevention efforts, and treatments. It also contains some 900 color illustrations and images, as well as a timeline of medical breakthroughs.
Native America and the Question of GenocideAlex Alvarez
Centuries ago, European settlers stole land from Native Americans, spreading terrible diseases and slaughtering and displacing indigenous peoples. These days, it’s common knowledge, but it’s apparently an inconvenient truth that Texas Republicans would rather students not think about.
I am pregnant. Now what?Cleo Stanley and Carolyn Simpson
It’s a shame that legislators are trying to get rid of this book. Since Texas virtually banned abortion last year, a lot more teens are going to be asking this question.
Wonder Woman Unbound: The curious story of the world’s most famous heroineTim Hanley
Look, y’all chicks can save the world too. wonder woman untied highlights the story of the extraordinary heroine who flouted gender norms and worked to uproot patriarchy. I guess some people still love their superheroes with a sexist edge.
Inventions and InventorsRoger Smith
We live in today’s modern society thanks to the revolutionary inventions of revolutionary inventors. But for some reason, Krause doesn’t want kids to experience impressive accomplishments, which range from “simple gimmicks to complex medical breakthroughs.”