Parents Are Sharing The “Inappropriate” Books They Read In School That They Don’t Want Their Kids To Read (20+ Posts)

The topic of parents challenging school reading lists has been at the cultural forefront lately, though it’s hardly anything new. I can remember Christians in the 80s being upset about literally every book in my school’s library that mentioned dinosaurs.

Whether books should be banned from libraries or not is a matter of debate I’m not willing to get into here, but just because a book isn’t banned doesn’t mean I want my kids to read it. And that’s the question recently posed by Reddit u/masterbuildera:

What book did you read in school that you would never want your child to read?

The post topped the AskReddit page with over 10K upvotes and 8K responses. Here are some of the books users seem to think merit some parental guidance.


via, image via

Where the Red Fern Grows- I wept like a baby when I read that book. I don’t want to subject my little one (who loves dogs) to that heartbreak.


via, image via

F**k catcher in the rye, holden is a whiny little b***h


Go Ask Alice or Jay’s Journal. The “anonymous” person who wrote it was not a young girl or a guy it was a woman named Beatrice Sparks (and probably other who collaborated). She was a conservative and wrote the books based on those ideals in order to “save the children”. Absolute s**t writing and s**t person.


via, image via

Dianetics, or anything else by L. Ron Hubbard.
Edited to explain why “Dianetics” was read in school: I was a junior in high school. Our AP world history teacher assigned us a project to research a “world religion” outside of the “big 3”. Half of the students chose Buddhism, a few chose Hinduism, a few Taoism, a few LDS, etc. But this was ’05-’06, and the “Trapped in the Closet” episode of South Park had just come out. Having never before heard of Scientology, I had to know if the episode was accurate.


via, image via

Hear me out, this is a weird take:

**Cyrano de Bergerac**

Not because it isn’t a good story, it is. But because I think high school boys get the wrong message from it and it fuels this incel, neckbeard fantasy of “*I am truly special, and I will pursue this woman until she realizes how special I am. She only likes that other guy because he’s cute, it definitely isn’t that I’m an a*****e.*” I don’t think that’s healthy for them, I think a lot of them don’t get that it’s satire because it’s in middle english.

I’m not saying they *can’t* read it, but it shouldn’t be required as part of the curriculum either (it was for me at least).


via, image via

Maybe this isn’t the question, but I read A Child Called ‘It’ as an elementary aged child. I bought it at the school’s Scholastic Book Fair, and was maybe 9 years old. Why on earth they thought that was an appropriate book for small children to be purchasing and reading, I will never know. The 90’s were a trip.

Read also: Artist Uses A.I. To Imagine How Harry Potter Characters Would Look According To Book Descriptions


via, image via

Shakespeare. Not because it is bad but because it’s not really meant to be read. It’s a performance your supposed to watch it.


via, image via

I don’t have or want kids but Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews. I was maybe 11 or 12 when I saw it in my school library and remember my mum mentioned she’d read it in school. Holy hell that was not a book that should have been in a primary school library, the fact it was required reading in my mum’s school when she was 14 is even more messed up.


via, image via

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison was rough.

As a victim of childhood SA I wish I didn’t have to quietly relive that trauma in a freshman English classroom full of strangers.


My 5th grade teacher read the Stephen King short story Survival Type to the class. For those who haven’t read: the narrator / mc is a drug smuggler who crash lands his plane on a deserted island. He ends up doing all the heroin he recovered from the crash and cannibalizes himself. We didn’t know at the time our teacher had early onset dementia..


via, image via

I know it’s weak, but the ending to Of Mice and Men really messed up my 13 -year-old brain.


via, image via

Red Badge of Courage was so ungodly boring it almost drove me insane so I would save them that headache


Les Miserables. Sophomore year. Just too long. I failed English because of it. It was just a basic English class, not English Literature.
I read it years later and it is long but, one of the best endings of any novel ever.


via, image via

Gone with the Wind. Not because it’s offensive (it is) or because it has rape scenes that portray the main character as liking them (it does) or because it depicts slavery from the wrong side of history (it definitely does). No, because it’s a 900+ page book that ends and begins without really doing anything, and it doesn’t even attempt to show one battle of the Civil War. It’s basically Waiting for Godot, but instead of God it’s a prissy Southerner who never loved the main character anyways, while the real lover has to rape her to show how much he loves her. It’s utter trash.


via, image via

I read a book about King Arthur, I think it was just called “Arthur The King”. I enjoyed royalty, Knights, and historical fiction, so it looked like a great pick for me for this book project. It was in my teacher’s classroom on a list of approved options.

Y’all, I was not READY for the amount of rape and sodomy in there. It was absurd. I think the book was actually meant to be an erotic novel, it’s the only reason I can think of for that much adult content. I’m positive the teacher had never read it herself.

I’m all for kids being exposed to a variety of topics, and teens can be exposed to sexuality, and I was sixteen or seventeen at the time. But this was just beyond anything.


via, image via

“A Day No Pigs Would Die” was pretty rough in 6th grade. Basically Charlotte’s web with HAUNTINGLY graphic depictions of animal husbandry and slaughter. I don’t remember getting a lot of value out of it at 11 years old, just pig-blood soaked nightmares lol


via, image via

Was given The Things They Carried in HS and had nightmares for weeks because I had a brother overseas in combat at the time. Part of me never wants my kids to read it because of how much it negatively affected me, which I know isn’t a good reason. I do think it is a worthwhile book but it will always, always make me uncomfortable.


via, image via

The Kite Runner….my dad saw me pick that up at a book store when I was in the 7th grade and he said no, I wasn’t allowed to read that till I got older. Me being the rebellious little s**t I was convinced my friend to buy it and we took turns reading it. Yeah that book is not for kids….I learnt some things that day 🙁


via, image via

I’m of the controversial opinion that not many things are truly inappropriate for children if they’re capable of actually grasping the subject matter.

But for me, there is one thing I feel was GENUINELY not appropriate and that I regret exposing myself to:

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. In 7th grade I stole that book from my parents room [the cover was cool and I loved reading edgy YA fiction].
And just… yeah, I ABSOLUTELY didn’t need to be consuming that novel as a 12 year old. I was easily old enough to grasp drug abuse and rape, but it was just… a f*****g LOT. I don’t recall the experience very fondly.


via, image via

I was supposed to read Night John in 4th grade. We stopped when parents complained about the vivid description of a slave being ripped apart by dogs. I’d definitely let me kids read it but not in 4th grade.


via, image via

Heart of Darkness. It’s just so f*****g boring and a waste of hours of my life.

The worst part is it has the potential to be exciting and interesting. Cannibals and wild animal attacks. But the God damn main character is more focused on how many bolts and nuts he needs to fix his damn boat.


via, image via

I was in a gifted class and we read 1984…in the fourth grade. Great piece of literature, but maybe a titch intense for nine-year-olds, y’know?


My mum used to use The Giving Tree to guilt me. That book is too easily weaponized


via, image via

The Scarlett Letter that s**t was a grind. I love to read, but I wanted to claw my eyes out so I could stop reading it.


via, image via

American Psycho.


Lord of the Flies. I hate that s**t.

This isn’t about censorship, if my kid wants to read that dogshit book, of course they can. But I’d never recommend it to anybody, or encourage anyone to read it if they were on the fence.

Jason Mustian

Jason Mustian

Jason is a Webby winning, Short-Award losing humor writer and businessman. He lives in Texas with his amazing wife and four sometimes amazing kids.