Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lynda Hall

Second Advisor

Ian Barnard

Third Advisor

Morgan Read-Davidson


Despite most parents and students fundamentally disagreeing with the censorship of books, book banning has spiraled out of control in the United States. The number of new book bans rises almost exponentially every school year, and books with queer themes are targeted far more frequently. Pro-ban advocates use deliberately demeaning rhetoric to garner support for their cause, and in doing so, they’ve managed to take away an educational resource from millions of children in both classrooms and school libraries, because queer-themed books help foster a sense of community for queer children and teens, something that is looked down upon by many ultraconservatives; however, despite the increasing prevalence of queer book bans, these books have great value in an educational setting, with statistical and rational evidence proving they are a beneficial student resource.

This research delves into the content of the most banned queer books, the notable voices behind book bans, student testimony, the proven value of incorporating queer books in an educational environment, and much more. Numerous takes from banned book experts, authors whose books have been banned, nearly 23,000 surveyed students, and even the most notorious pro-ban advocates have been considered to form this analysis, ultimately proving a single fact: queer book bans are harmful to students and challenge their right to a proper education. Statistics prove that queer books help promote a feeling of community in schools and can educate on queer issues that are typically not discussed in classrooms. This thesis reports on the discriminatory practices used to ban queer books, and argues that teachers and librarians have a responsibility to advocate against book banning in school libraries and classrooms, so that they may provide students with the educational resources they need, and seeks to garner the support responsible educators who are hesitant to take a stand against the book banning controversy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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