“And Tango Makes Three” tops ALA’s 2006 list of most challenged books
Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s award-winning “And Tango Makes Three,” about two male penguins parenting an egg from a mixed-sex penguin couple, tops the list of most challenged books in 2006, due to the issues of homosexuality.
The list also features two books by author Toni Morrison. “The Bluest Eye” and “Beloved” are on the list due to sexual content and offensive language.
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) received a total of 546 challenges last year. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. Public libraries, schools and school libraries report the majority of challenges to OIF.
“The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported,” said Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “For each reported challenge, four or five likely remain unreported.”
The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2006” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:
“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;
“Gossip Girls” series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;
“Alice” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;
“The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things” by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
“Scary Stories” series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;
“Athletic Shorts” by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language;
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group;
“The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.
Off the list this year, but on for several years past, are the “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.
A top-10 list of most challenged books is published each year as part of the celebration of the freedom to read, Banned Books Week. This year’s celebration begins on September 29 and runs through October 6.
For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit Challenged and Banned Books. For help with challenges, visit Support for Dealing with or Reporting Challenges to Library Materials. For ideas on how to celebrate Banned Books Week, visit Action Guide, Suggested Activities.