Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2012

Illustration: 
Book cover: Captain Underpants

The 2013 State of America's Libraries Report was released by the American Library Association this morning.

The report details library trends and challenges of the past year and notes the ways that libraries and library staff continue to respond to the needs of their communities: advocating for free access to digital content, providing key resources, even as budgets are reduced, and speaking out forcefully against book-banning attempts.

A highlight of report is the Top Ten List of Most Frequently Challenged Books, compiled annually by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF).

OIF collects reports on book challenges from librarians, teachers, concerned individuals and press reports. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.

In 2012, OIF received 464 reports on attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves. This is an increase from 2011 totals, which stood at 326 attempts

Here is the Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books in 2012:

Captain Underpants (series)
by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: offensive language, unsuited for age group.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group.

Fifty Shades of Grey
by E. L. James
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit.

And Tango Makes Three
by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: homosexuality, unsuited for age group.

The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit.

Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

Scary Stories (series)
by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: unsuited for age group, violence.

The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit.

Beloved
by Toni Morrison
Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence.

 

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