The recent data shows that, as of now, THIS is the most banned book in Texas.

We've been hearing the headline buzz surrounding the controversy of banned (or would-be banned) books in Longview and Tyler, Texas--and all around our East Texas area.

It's interesting to watch how groups of people want to ban different books for different reasons. Often, their desires are skewed by their political perspective or religious beliefs.

How do you feel about the idea of banning books in our Texas libraries?

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As for me, I don't agree with over-censoring what's available in our Texas libraries. Ya know, 'Freedom of Speech' and whatnot. At the same time, I do understand that some books may not necessarily be the most appropriate options for our children. In my opinion, that is more of a case-by-case basis.

In my opinion, books that are overtly sexual in nature don't have a place in elementary schools--or even perhaps in middle schools, for that matter. But here's part of the controversy: different people have different ideas about what 'overtly sexual' means.

In addition to that, there are concerns among some regarding books that have strong references to racial issues. Some feel that these books unnecessarily promote racial tensions and plant seeds of unrest and divisiveness in schools.

When I saw what has, according to recent data, become the #1 most banned book in Texas, I was sincerely surprised.

So what is the #1 most banned book in the state of Texas right now?

'The Bluest Eye,' by Toni Morrison.

Have you read this book? I have not, so I wasn't fully aware of the issues that some have with this one. Upon digging in a bit more, I ran across an article from KETK that had this to say about it:

The novel is unflinching in its depiction of racism, white supremacy and sexual abuse, including scenes of incest and child molestation. Taken together, all these subjects have routinely proven a polarizing cocktail for many book challengers.

On top of that, some opposed to this book feel the way white people are portrayed in the book is very negative.

Do you agree this book should be banned, or perhaps any others, in particular?

Your thoughts on this are welcome at tara.holley@townsquaremedia.com.

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