Depending on whom you ask, Wisconsin is either a forward-looking state with a proud progressive past, or a backwards-looking flyover state best left to blaze-orange Cheeseheads and the dopes that wear them. That polarity plays out in a lot of ways—this is a state that twice voted for political opposites Scott Walker and Barack Obama, after all—including the number of times we attempt to ban books. Yes, in honor of Banned Books Week, The Huffington Post has stepped away for the nip-slip ledge and put together a series of infographics that break down attempted book-bans by state. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly—again, depending on whom ask), Wisconsin sits rather high in the rankings, with 7-8 book challenges since 2013. That’s more than the 5-6 challenges of nearby Illinois and Michigan, but far, far fewer than Texas, which tallied up an impressive 114 challenges last year alone. That’s a lot of hysterical Texan parents getting worked up over Harry Potter or whatever.


Wisconsin’s latest foray into book-banning occurred earlier this year, when a parent of a Waukesha South High School student requested John Green’s Looking For Alaska be removed from the school’s library due to “graphic sexual content.” Kite Runner and Chinese Handcuffs also made Waukesha parents’ don’t-read list, though all requests were eventually denied by the school district.

And yes, in case you were wondering, the “graphic sexual content” from Alaska involves a character named Pudge getting an blow job from a girl named Lara. Read the offending passage here on the Internet, which is a thing available in schools. Great job, Wisconsin!

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.