The Mat-Su School District’s newly-formed Library Citizens’ Advisory Committee voted last week to recommend that the Mat-Su School Board remove four sexual-themed books from all or some school libraries across the school district.

After examining the first four of 56 challenged books, the 11-member committee determined that “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris, and “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison were in violation of Alaska law, which prohibits the dissemination of pornographic or indecent material to minors.

Additionally, the advisory committee suggested that the school board pull “Drama,” by Raina Telgemeier, and “The Lovely Bones,” by Alice Sebold from several libraries. The majority of the committee did not think these books were in violation of state law, but determined that they were unsuitable for certain age groups.

Drama” is a graphic novel that highlights gay sexuality among teenagers, but without explicit sexual scenes. “The Lovely Bones,” includes highly graphic and detailed scenes of teen rape. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” is a teen sex guide that includes graphic illustrations of sexual intercourse and masturbation, while instructing teens about abortion options and contraceptive methods that cause early abortions. “The Bluest Eye,” depicts graphic sex scenes, masturbation and child rape.

The 11- member board consists of seven community members and four school district employees who are tasked with reviewing challenged books and making recommendations to the school board on whether the titles should be removed or retained in school libraries. The school board has final say.

According to Alaska law, it is a class C felony to distribute indecent material to minors. Violation of this law can result in up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Unlike in some other states, there are no exceptions for school librarians or teachers who might disseminate indecent library books to children.


Below are the voting results from the library committee. It is now up to the school board to determine whether to pull certain books from school libraries.

BOOK: “The Lovely Bones”

Does the book violate Alaska statute against disseminating indecent material to minors? Yes – 2 votes, No – 8 votes, Abstain – 1 vote.

— Recommendation: Retain – 0 votes, Remove from all libraries – 3 votes, Remove from elementary libraries – 0 votes, Remove from elementary and middle school libraries – 7 votes, Abstain – 1 vote.

BOOK: “Drama”

Does the book violate Alaska statute against disseminating indecent material to minors? Yes – 0 votes, No – 11 votes, Abstain – 0 votes.

— Recommendation: Retain – 3 votes, Remove from all libraries – 0 votes, Remove from elementary libraries – 8 votes, Remove from elementary and middle school libraries – 0 votes, Abstain – 0 votes.

BOOK: “It’s Perfectly Normal”

Does the book violate Alaska statute against disseminating indecent material to minors? Yes – 6 votes, No – 5 votes, Abstain – 0 votes.

— Recommendation: Retain – 0 votes, Remove from all libraries – 9 votes, Remove from elementary libraries – 2 votes, Remove from elementary and middle school libraries – 0 votes, Abstain – 0 votes.

BOOK: “The Bluest Eye”

Does the book violate Alaska statute against disseminating indecent material to minors? Yes – 6 votes, No – 5 votes, Abstain – 0 votes.

— Recommendation: Retain – 0 votes, Remove from all libraries – 6 votes, Remove from elementary libraries – 0 votes, Remove from elementary and middle school libraries – 5 votes, Abstain – 0 votes.


— The next Mat-Su Borough School Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20, starting at 6 p.m. at Houston High School (12801 Hawk Lane). While there are no scheduled votes on the library committee’s recommendations, the board will likely be presented with the committee’s suggestions during the board committee reports section of the meeting. Click here for information on how to testify at the upcoming meeting.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Mat-Su school library committee recommends removing 4 sex-themed books from schools

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Why don’t we have WHY the abstain votes abstained? They are on this board to make a decision nit abstain. If you can’t do your job step down and allow someone that can make a decision do that job. Now, it’s good yo know we have some people that still have some decency. Kids don’t need this until they are ready mentally not by age. If teachers/ school boards want to make their decisions by age they need to be replaced. We don’t need things forced on us. You need more information then get it. Schools can judge maturity by testing and knowledge of the student. They need to use that information on who gets tge training or not. Who reads books and sees porn at what age. What happened to our teachers and school boards? Why in today’s world of democrats wanting nothing but MURDER(abortion) do they want to force kids into sex education? Why not ABSTINENCE? ABSTINENCE is more moral and religious.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    When do the prosecution and jail times begin? If they don’t, this is all bullsh:t!

  • Lucinda says:

    Bible includes scenes of drunkenness and incest. It was banned ( for a very short time) in Utah county.

    • Lobo says:

      MY bible (KJV) does include scripture (text) teaching “against” drunkenness, and incest. It however, does not include graphic images, or teach that drunkenness, and incest is in anyway permissible… Nor does it teach, or suggest that, for some, it’s perfectly okay, depending on your preferences.. In other words, those activities are strictly prohibited, with no exceptions.

  • Becky says:

    Sadly, there are apparently 6 idiots on this new committee.

    Your very description of one of the books proves its not in violation of state law. You pointed out it is educational in nature and contains scientific information about reproductive care that is VERY prurient to 16 year olds who are engaging in sex(ie most of them). Ironically, the very vote tallies themselves is ALSO proof the books don’t violate any laws. 6-5 votes mean that reasonable people DO consider the books prurient. Meaning they are automatically NOT in violation of any law. If anyone wanted to waste the States time any money to attempt to prosecute them, they could just send a screen shot of Joes post here to win their case, lol.

    56 books and they only found 2 that they thought crossed the line…by a single vote margin. Honestly its kinda pathetic how impotent your new little group of book banners turned out, lol.

    • AKMom says:

      Actually, if you properly read the article, you’d find they’ve only examined the first 4 of the 56 challenged books. Of those 4, 2 were recommended to be pulled from all libraries. 2 were recommended to be pulled from libraries serving younger students.
      They still have 52 additional books to review and vote on.

      • Becky says:

        Ak mom, Thats not what the article originally said. Joe edited it after the fact. I didnt think it was possible for them to have read that many books so fast. So when I typed my comment I went back and double checked what he said before I posted it. I was taking a jab with that statement, so it was irrelevant to the actual conversation. It’s interesting that all you did was point out that apparent mistake. How come you didn’t try to refute any of my actual points? Probably because you can’t, lol.

      • Akmom says:

        You had facts in your statement other then the factual error I pointed out? Huh. Pretty sure everything else you said was opinion. Regardless if something is or is not against the law, there’s still something to be said for being prudent about what materials grace our library shelves and what ages of children have easy access to them. Also, how many important national laws are decided by slim 1-vote opinions on the Supreme Court? Your opinions expressed above are opinions, not facts. I chose not to engage in debating your opinions, but I did correct you on a fact that was due to an incorrect or sloppy reading of the article.
        And I read it minutes after it was published so if Joel did correct it, it was a pretty immediate correction. But since there are no other facts in your reply to discuss, I’ll wish you a good day.

      • Becky says:

        You are very good at avoiding points, lol.

        I didn’t say anything about facts. Its an online forum. All our posts are opinions. Joel’s, mine, yours. Joel has a penchant for blatantly misrepresenting facts and ignoring glaring context. Ie lying. I explained pretty clearly how none of the books violate the law. You could maybe disagree if you had a cogent argument for how they do violate the law. But you can’t because they don’t. Being offended by a single paragraph or a single chapter, or a picture or two in a whole book is not the legal bar that must be met. there are 11 people on the new book banning council. They were mostly hand-picked by a conservative lawmaker bending to the loud outrage of a very small minority of parents. I would wager that every one of the actual state employees voted no along with the more sensible of the conservative group. They all know the books do not violate any laws. But their goal isn’t to comply with the law. It’s to try and override the normal system and ban books that have already been approved, that THEY are offended by.

        I didn’t say the 1 vote difference didn’t count. I just said that its evidence in itself that nothing is wrong with the books. Since the law in question relies on peoples general OPINIONS, the fact that vote was so close is evidence that reasonable people consider the content fine. Thats literally the requirement listed in the law. The school board has no business meddling in the already proven and vetted books that were already approved through the normal process. Supreme Court ruling says that it is a 1st Amendment violation of student’s rights to remove books simply because their content offends you.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Becky, you say that Mr. Davidson is blatantly lying. Please do write an article explaining everything as you know it to be true and submit it. You apparently know what is right, so have it. We look forward to reading the truth as told by you.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    5 years ago, these disgusting books were not in are school libraries.
    The far left found a new way to get to our children. So they started writing these evil vile books.
    This new board is going to vote the same way, on the remaining books being challenged
    Ban them all.

  • Bear says:

    If the goal of public education is to raise STD rates and increase sexual violence, its working:

    In 2019, Alaska’s rate of sexual assault was four times the national average. In 2020, Alaska saw the highest rape rate in the nation. In 2023, Alaska ranks top of the list for STDs in the nation.

    According to the CDC, teenagers account for 51% of all reported sexual abuse. Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are 3.5 times more likely than the general public to be victims of sexual abuse.

    If the goal of public education is to teach children how to read, write, and perform basic math skills, it’s failing:

    The Alaska System of Academic Readiness reported in 2022 that 70% of 3rd-9th graders were not proficient in English and 77% were not proficient in math

  • Mongo says:

    So if its a felony, why aren’t the Troopers investigating?

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Because like I said it’s bullsh:t !