Gay Penguins, Mopey Smiths Fans Again Top List of Banned Books

and tango makes threeThe American Library Association just released its list of the ten most challenged books of 2007.  These are books that parents and other nosebags thought inappropriate their children and/or society at large; the main reason, not surprisingly, is because characters in these books often have genitals and sometimes use them in un-Christian ways, though the fact that racism exists also tends to twist people’s chastity belts.

In 2007, the ALA logged 420 requests to have books removed from libraries (though the actual number of complaints was probably a lot higher, since people generally tend not to report these things to national agencies, either removing the books so as to avoid a fuss or keeping the books there so as to avoid a different kind of fuss.)

The ten most frequently-challenged books last year were:

1. ‘‘And Tango Makes Three’’ by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell.
Reasons: anti-ethnic, sexism, homosexuality, anti-family, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group.

2. ‘‘The Chocolate War’’ by Robert Cormier .
Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, violence.

3. ‘‘Olive’s Ocean’’ by Kevin Henkes.
Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language.

4. ‘‘The Golden Compass’’ by Philip Pullman.
Reasons: religious viewpoint.

5. ‘‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’’ by Mark Twain.
Reasons: racism.

6. ‘‘The Color Purple’’ by Alice Walker.
Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language.

7. ‘‘TTYL’’ by Lauren Myracle.
Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuitable for age group.

8. ‘‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’’ by Maya Angelou.
Reasons: sexually explicit.

9. ‘‘It’s Perfectly Normal’’ by Robie Harris.
Reasons: sex education, sexually explicit.

10. ‘‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’’ by Stephen Chbosky.
Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuitable for age group.

I’ve read three of these: The Perks of Being A Wallflower is wonderful for shy teenagers who like making mixtapes, although everyone in the world seems to think it’s something that it’s not.  (Seriously.  I once lodged a complaint at Borders because they were displaying it in their “feminine fiction” display.)  And Tango Makes Three is fine, I guess, although the illustration style’s kinda blah.  And, in the words of Kiki DuRane, “I know why the caged bird sings.  It’s because she can’t write.”

2 thoughts on “Gay Penguins, Mopey Smiths Fans Again Top List of Banned Books”

  1. Annie Messier

    Well, it’s refreshing not seeing “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “Daddy’s Roommate” topping the banned list for once. Unless that age group was too young to make the list (seems on par with the penguins, though).

    Funny that Harry Potter’s “evil witchcraft” has given room to “Golden Compass”‘s “religious viewpoint.” Ahh, fickle book censors.

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