Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Books Some Parents Love to Hate

According to a Courier-Journal (Louisville) article these are the "Top 10 Most Challenged Books for 2006." I'm assuming that means that these books were the ones that parents most often demanded be removed from the shelves of school libraries. Lucky Toni Morrison - she has two books in the Top 10.
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.
The list comes from the American Library Association.


  1. Thanks for posting these. I find myself laughing at the "anti-family" concerns. I know plenty of people who live in nontraditional families which are still families - they are not anti-family at all. What these groups should say instead is: "portrays a family which I am too close minded to acknowledge as a family"

    Ack...I just hate censorship.

  2. I hate saying this, but I'm honestly not sure how I feel about censorship. On one level, I don't approve of banning books. On another, I've seen some of these books at the store and I don't approve of teens reading them either. Some of them are wholly innapropriate for the teens and chidlren to whom they are marketed.

    If parents would monitor the reading habits better, that would help a lot, but so many of them they just say "at least they're reading" and go on their merry way. I agree it's good they're reading, but I think they should be reading things better suited for their own age.

  3. The reasons for challenging these books make me want to laugh and cry. As if teens aren't exposed to "offensive language" on television or movies or even among their peers even more than in these books. And the whole "anit-family" thing, it should say "anti-nuclear family" because that's really the complaint. Ok, I guess it is more sad than funny.

  4. Wendy & Stefanie, I think y'all are saying pretty much the same thing. What bothers these folks is not that the books are anti-family but that they don't approve of the books' definition of the word family. I agree that most kids are exposed to far worse in movies and music than they are exposed to in books. Let's face it, most of the kids who read these books are likely to be more mature already than the ones who get all of their input from movies and television.

  5. Anne, I understand what your concerns are. I always side with the anti-censorship people but I've seen a few things in school libraries that really made me wonder.

    I probably won't be able to find it again but just a couple of days ago I was reading excepts from a book that's in high school libraries that had some pretty explicit bondage scenes and included one young girl who had a baby by her own father...who forced her to drown the baby in the bathtub. He kept the baby in the family freezer as a threat to her if she ever opened her mouth about her situation...he would use the corpse as evidence that she had drowned the child.

    Stuff like that makes me question whether this one should be allowed in a high school library...I'm still not sure.