Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom (OiF) has published its annual list of the most frequently challenged books.

First, let's explain what they mean by "challenged":

A "challenge" is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed or restricted because of content or appropriateness.
During 2009, the Office of Intellectual Freedom received 460 reports, “on efforts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.” OiF receives reports from many sources but most challenges are not reported. They estimate that their statistics reflect only 20-25 percent of challenges that actually take place in a public libraries, school’s and school libraries.

See what the banned books were after the jump...

1. ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle

Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

2. “And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

Reasons: Homosexuality

3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee

Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult

Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier

Reasons: Unsuited to Age Group

Seven titles were dropped from the list. They include:

His Dark Materials Trilogy (Series) by Philip Pullman (Political Viewpoint, Religious Viewpoint, Violence); Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz (Occult/Satanism, Religious Viewpoint, Violence); “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya (Occult/Satanism, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Sexually Explicit, Violence); Gossip Girl (Series) by Cecily von Ziegesar (Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group); “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding” by Sarah S. Brannen (Homosexuality, Unsuited to Age Group); “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini (Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group); and “Flashcards of My Life” by Charise Mericle Harper (Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group).


  1. To Kill A Mockingbird banned because of racism? That's probably the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

    Glad to see Scary Stories off the list. I loved those books. :)

  2. It's funny to look at these lists and see how they don't reflect your own experience. Scary Stories was sold at my Elementary School book fairs and I used all three for reading assignments by Middle School. Catcher in the Rye was mandatory reading for a month of High School English classes.

    Makes me wonder, seeing Twilight banned, if all some of these bannings do is increase book sales to kids who couldn't get them from the library.

  3. Gotta say, never read any of 'em. And I sleep well at night...

    I agree with John. But I will take it further and pop on my tin-foil hat and claim conspiracy!! I think publishers are happy to see books banned, knowing full well what it will do for sales. Not that Twilight needs the help. (Just the people who read it!!)

  4. Happy to see several titles removed from the list. Pullman's work is amazing, and plumbs deep into all sorts of religious, social, and political issues. Which sure beats the crap in ttyl (picked up in a yardsale because I need to 'get' im lingo, and that is what the book is).

    Mockingbird is always on these lists. Difficult, I think, for some portions of society to accept the reality of that story. Peace...

  5. I'd love to see Palin's tome Going Rogue banned - I mean what does the title even mean for starters? Actually scratch that when you ban a book or movie it seems to make it more popular similar to the movie A Clockwork Orange.

  6. Although A Clockwork Orange was a brilliant book and movie of course!!


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