These are the 68 books set to come off shelves at Iowa City-area schools in 2024

The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) offices are seen, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, at 1725 N. Dodge Street in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) offices are seen, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, at 1725 N. Dodge Street in Iowa City, Iowa.
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The Iowa City Community School District plans to permanently remove at least 68 books from local libraries in early 2024 to comply with Senate File 496.

The bill is one of several sweeping education initiatives signed into law in May that limit the content of certain school materials.

It bans books with descriptions or depictions of sex acts from school libraries and prohibits instruction on gender and sexual identity until seventh grade, among other effects.

The Iowa City Community School District's comprehensive "ban" list includes books like Stephen King’s “It,” Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale,” Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why” and Steig Larsson’s “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

The list also includes Juno Dawson’s “This Book is Gay,” which stirred controversy in the district after bomb threats were made against Northwest Junior High in March. District officials speculated the threats could be tied to the book's presence in the school's library.

A district book review committee allowed the book to remain in schools before Gov. Kim Reynolds signed S.F. 496 into law.

School emailed list of soon-to-be-removed books to parents

The district released the list of books set for removal to parents and families on Monday, Oct. 16 through a district-wide email obtained by the Press-Citizen.

“Our commitment remains steadfast in complying with these new requirements while also maintaining our dedication to supporting our students and fostering safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments within our schools for all students,” District Superintendent Matt Degner wrote.

More: After bomb threats, Iowa City school district removes book targeted by anti-LGBTQ Twitter account

The review process is orchestrated by administrators, teachers, curriculum coordinators and librarians, which will continue through the fall as the district attempts to comply with the new law before year’s end, Degner wrote.

The current removal list is subject to change and will not be finalized until Jan. 1, 2024.

More: Which banned books have been removed from Iowa schools? Our updated database lists them

“Please know that this commitment to compliance will not deter us from our dedication to our students' well-being and to creating inclusive learning environments,” Degner wrote. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this new legislation.”

Why are these books being removed from the Iowa City school district libraries?

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 496 into law in May, restricting access to books that depict sex acts in school libraries across the state. That bill will go into effect at the start of 2024, giving schools a grace period to review their books.

More: What is a sex act in Iowa? And how would it affect a likely school book ban? We found out:

Materials must be removed if they depict explicit actions between two or more people, per state guidelines. “Sex acts” can include visual depictions or descriptions of explicit actions between individuals.

The new law is one of many signed into law this year that establishes a "constitutionally protected right" for parents to make decisions for their children. It also includes limits on LGBTQ+ teachings.

More: Kim Reynolds signs sweeping Iowa education law on book bans, LGBTQ teaching. What it does:

The full preliminary list of books coming off shelves in Iowa City schools:

  • "101 Questions about Sex and Sexuality" by Faith Brynie

  • "All Boys Aren't Blue" by George M. Johnson

  • "American Roommate Experiment" by Elena Armas

  • "Beach Read" by Emily Henry

  • "Beyond Magenta" by Susan Kuklin

  • "Black Girl Unlimited" by Echo Brown

  • "Blankets" by Craig Thompson

  • "Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison

  • "Boy Toy" by Barry Lyga

  • "Boyfriend Material" by Alexis Hall

  • "Brave Face" by Shaun David Hutchinson

  • "Breathless" by Jennifer Niven

  • "Can We Talk About Consent" by Justin Hancock

  • "Charm Offensive "by Cochrun, Alison

  • "Color Purple" by Alice Walker

  • "Court of Frost and Starlight" by Sarah Maas

  • "Court of Mist and Fury" by Sarah Maas

  • "Court of Silver Flames" by Sarah Maas

  • "Court of Thorns and Roses" by Sarah Maas

  • "Court of Wings and Ruin" by Sarah Maas

  • "Crank" by Ellen Hopkins

  • "Damsel" by Elana Arnold

  • "Doing It: Let's Talk about Sex" by Hannah Witton

  • "Empire of Storms" by Sarah J. Maas

  • "Forever" by Judy Blume

  • "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson

  • "Grown" by Tiffany Jackson

  • "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

  • "The Handmaid's Tale" (graphic novel) by Renée Nault

  • "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi

  • "Icebreaker" by Hannah Grace

  • "Identical" by Ellen Hopkins

  • "Infinite Moment of Us" by Lauren Myracle

  • "It" by Stephen King

  • "It Ends with Us" by Colleen Hoover

  • "It Starts With Us" by Colleen Hoover

  • "Kingdom of Ash" by Sarah J. Maas

  • "Laughing at My Nightmare" by Shane Burcaw

  • "Let's Talk About It" by Erika Moen

  • "Looking for Alaska" by John Green

  • "Love Hypothesis" by Ali Hazelwood

  • "Lucky" by Alice Sebold

  • "Making Sexual Decisions" by Kris Gowen

  • "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur

  • "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult

  • "No Ashes in the Fire" by Darnell Moore

  • "Not That Bad" by Roxane Gay

  • "Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir" by Nikki Grimes

  • "Out of Darkness" by Ashley Pèrez

  • "Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Steven Chbosky

  • "Rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang

  • "Red, White, and Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston

  • "Sold" by Patrica McCormick

  • "Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller

  • "Spanish Love Deception" by Elena Armas

  • "Stardust" by Neil Gaiman

  • "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher

  • "This Book is Gay" by Juno Dawson

  • "Thousand Acres" by Jane Smiley

  • "Tower of Dawn" by Sarah J. Maas

  • "Traffick" by Ellen Hopkins

  • "Tricks" by Ellen Hopkins

  • "Ugly Love" by Colleen Hoover

  • "Ulysses" by James Joyce

  • "Vincent" by Barbara Stok

  • "Water for Elephants" by Sarah Gruen

  • "When I was Puerto Rican" by Esmeralda Santiago

  • "Y: The Last Man" by Brian K. Vaughan

Ryan Hansen covers local government and crime for the Press-Citizen. He can be reached at or on X, formerly known as Twitter, @ryanhansen01.

This article originally appeared on Iowa City Press-Citizen: Iowa book ban: The 68 titles coming off shelves at Iowa City-area schools