Examining Patterns within Challenged or Banned Primary Elementary Books


Children's literature;
challenged books
banned books

How to Cite

Bickford, J., & Lawson, D. (2020). Examining Patterns within Challenged or Banned Primary Elementary Books. Journal Of Curriculum Studies Research, 2(1), 16-38. https://doi.org/10.46303/jcsr.02.01.2


Public schools and public libraries often receive challenges—suppression or removal requests—to particular books, which can lead the book being banned. Research has examined challenges to books with multicultural themes and individuals, noted that authors of color are disproportionally targeted, and recognized the remarkable number of challenges to books deemed to be classic. This qualitative content analysis research utilized both with inductive and deductive elements—open coding and axial coding—to examine challenged books intended for primary elementary students. The theoretical framework blended critical multiculturalism, gay and lesbian identity, and radical politics in children’s literature. Findings included patterns based on era, frequency and location of challenge, demography of challenger, and oft-challenged themes, specifically sexuality (sexual reproduction and diverse sexualities), inappropriate humor, danger, death, racial and religious diversity, mysticism and wizardry, racially or culturally insensitive elements, concerning interpersonal dynamics, and evolution. Meaning is extracted for teachers, librarians, administrators, and researchers.