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John Backderf's 'My Friend Dahmer' and other titles might be banned from school libraries

[Jeff St. Clair / WKSU]

A book by a well-known Northeast Ohio author is among those a North Carolina school district is considering removing from its libraries.

An elementary school parent asked the Catawba County schools to remove 24 books, including “My Friend Dahmer” by John Backderf. The graphic novel tells the story of Backderf’s teenage friendship with Jeffery Dahmer, who would later be convicted of 16 murders. The author says there’s nothing in the book that’s inappropriate for teens.

“There is nothing in that book that is objectionable, in any way," Backderf said. "There is no sex scenes. There is no murders. You know, everything you associate with Dahmer. There are not even any swear words. I purposefully left those out.”

Backderf says most of the time parents are getting lists of targeted books generated elsewhere and asking school districts to review them without knowing what they are about.

Other books on the North Carolina list include “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.

A recent report by the American Library Association stated that libraries are at the center of a culture war as conservative groups try to ban materials that address racism, gender, politics, and sexual identity.

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