Nearly 100 books pulled from Beaufort SC school libraries

“Are there any minors in here?” parent Joseph Castagnino asked before making his public comment at the Beaufort County School Board meeting Oct. 18.

Then, he read a sex scene from “Tricks” by Ellen Hopkins in front of the board, parents and attendees. “Tricks” is a New York Times bestselling novel that tells the story of five teenagers that fall into prostitution.

And, until last Friday, the novel was available at some Beaufort County middle and high school libraries.

Three days after Castagnino’s reading, school administrators started pulling this and 96 other books from all Beaufort County schools, district spokesperson Candace Bruder said Tuesday.

The list includes what could be considered classics such as “ The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” The list also includes titles such as “grl2grl” and “Foul is Fair.”

Bruder said a community member provided a list of 97 books the morning after the meeting.

Castagnino said he and other Beaufort County parents sent the board a list of 97 books with “adult-rated content” that they compiled last week.

“There’s a book rating just like there’s a movie rating,” Castagnino said. “That’s where the list of 96 books comes from.”

To compile the list, Castagnino and other parents cross referenced books that had adult ratings with the Beaufort County School Library catalog. Castagnino didn’t say what rating system they used.

District procedure for challenged materials is typically a multi-step process, which involves a parent submitting a formal complaint, conferences between librarians, parents and students, and a “Materials Reconsideration Committee.”

This process is separate from South Carolina’s annual textbook and material review process, where parents can look over material and submit comments.

The district didn’t receive a formal complaint for the 97 materials, according to Bruder.

“Although the district made a Request for Reconsideration of School Library Materials Form available to parents expressing concerns about books, no forms were received by the district,” she said. “However, after hearing concerns regarding some of the books in question, the district decided to temporarily remove books from shelves to undergo a review process.”

In the library catalog the books will show as “in processing” while under review.

“As a district, we have the right to pull materials at any time when concerns are brought to our attention,” Bruder said. “Typically during the review process, the materials are temporarily removed until the process is complete.”

The list of books being pulled and reviewed that Bruder provided is:

1. A lesson in Vengeance

2. All Boys Aren’t Blue

3. All the Things We Do in the Dark

4. Almost Perfect

5. Ask the Passengers

6. Beautiful

7. Boy Girl Boy

8. Breathless

9. Burned

10. City of Heavenly Fire

11. Clockwork Princess

12. Collateral

13. Confess: A Novel

14. Cool for the Summer

15. Court of Frost and Starlight

16. Court of Mist and Fury

17. Court of Thorns and Roses

18. Court of Wings and Ruin

19. Crank

20. Damsel

21. Eleanor and Park

22. Empire of Storms

23. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

24. Fade

25. Fallout

26. Felix Ever After

27. Flamer

28. Forever for a Year

29. Foul is Fair

30. Gabi, A Girl in Pieces

31. Glass

32. Go Ask Alice

33. Grit

34. grl2grl

35. Grown

36. Half of a Yellow Sun

37. Hopeless

38. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

39. I’ll Give You the Sun

40. Identical

41. Impulse

42. It Ends With Us

43. Kingdom of Ash

44. Last Night at the Telegraph Club

45. Layla

46. ​​Leah on the Offbeat

47. Living Dead Girl

48. Lolita

49. Looking for Alaska

50. Lucky

51. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

52. Milk and Honey

53. Monday’s Not Coming

54. More Happy Than Note

55. Nineteen Minutes

56. November 9

57. Oryx and Crake

58. Out of Darkness

59. Perfect

60. Push

61. Ramona Blue

62. Red at the Bone

63. Rumble

64. Scars

65. Shine

66. Skin

67. Smoke

68. Sold

69. Speak

70. Stamped (AD, YA, YD, and for Kids versions)

71. The Art of Racing in the Rain

72. The Black Flamingo

73. The Bluest Eye

74. The Carnival at Bray

75. The Duff

76. The Female of the Species

77. The Fixer

78. The Freedom Writers Diary

79. The Handmaid’s Tale

80. The Haters

81. The Infinite Moment of Us

82. The Kite Runner

83. The Lovely Bones

84. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

85. The Poet X

86. The Truth About Alice

87. The Upside of Unrequited

88. The You I’ve Never Known

89. Thirteen Reasons Why

90. This One Summer

91. Tilt

92. Tower of Dawn

93. Tricks

94. Water for Elephants

95. Wintergirls

96. Yolk

97. YOLO

This story was originally published October 25, 2022 4:41 PM.

Mary Dimitrov is an education and real estate reporter for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette. A Maryland native, she graduated from the University of Maryland with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and public policy. Previously, she has spent time reporting in the US Senate for McClatchy’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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