Challenged Books

Time to exercise our intellectual freedom and go read some controversial books!

Back in September, I posted the Top 100 Challenged/Banned Books 2000-2007.  Here are some more from the American Library Association. They’ve posted the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2008.

1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Anti-Family, Homosexuality, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2. “His Dark Materials Trilogy” (Series), Philip Pullman
Reasons:  Political Viewpoint, Religious Viewpoint, Violence

3. “TTYL”; “TTFN”; “L8R, G8R” (Series), Lauren Myracle
Reasons:  Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group

4. “Scary Stories” (Series), Alvin Schwartz
Reasons:  Occult/Satanism, Religious Viewpoint, Violence

5. “Bless Me, Ultima,” by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons:  Occult/Satanism, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Sexually Explicit, Violence

6. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons:  Drugs, Homosexuality, Nudity, Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Suicide, Unsuited to Age Group

7. “Gossip Girl” (Series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons:  Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group

8. “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding,” by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons:  Homosexuality, Unsuited to Age Group

9. “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons:  Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group

10. “Flashcards of My Life,” by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons:  Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group

Six titles were dropped from the list, including: “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier (challenged for sexually explicit content, offensive language and violence); “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes (for sexually explicit content and offensive language); “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain (for racism); “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker (for homosexuality, sexually explicit content and offensive language); “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou (for sexually explicit content); and “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris (for sexually explicit content).

From their press release … For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Week Web site at

The Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.

Have you read any of the 2008 Top Ten? What’s your favorite challenged or banned book?

4 thoughts on “Challenged Books”

  1. “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding” makes the list, but its prequel, “Uncle Bobby’s Civil Union,” which is MUCH more explicit, especially in the “opening of nuptial gifts” scene, does NOT? There is just no figuring haters.

  2. I remember reading Olive’s Ocean, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Philips’s Dark Materials and The Kite Runner and liking them all … in fact, the sexually explicit scenes go from scenes that define human emotion (as in Kite Runner) to just being plain funny (as in Wallflower). I don’t understand people who want to censor books this way … if you don’t like it, just don’t read it!

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