Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011 were released by ALA this week. Not surprisingly, almost all of them are written for children and teens:

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism

For excellent discussion of trends in challenges, look at this analysis --complete with charts and graphs--in the YALSA Hub Blog. One interesting note they made: this year there are no books on the top-ten list because of "homosexuality." This means that after several years on the list, And Tango Makes Three was not one of the top ten, and the writers suggest that perhaps people are getting used to libraries having books containing LGBTQ content.

Our own state's Cooperative Children's Book Center provides outstanding support to libraries and schools facing a challenge. Their service is completely confidential, they don't release the names of titles that have been challenged, so their figures aren't included in this tally. Remember their Intellectual Freedom services if you end up with a complaint or challenge about a book--what an amazing resource to have in our state! If you have a thorny philosophical issue you'd like some other opinions about, you can also check out the CCBC's What IF forum.

No comments: