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Week of 9.5.07

Most Challenged Books in America 2006

This week marks the 26th anniversary of "Banned Book Week," an effort by the American Library Association to promote freedom of access to "unorthodox or unpopular" written works as well as freedom of expression within these books.

Each year, the ALA publishes the top 10 "challenged" books of the previous year. These are books that individuals or groups request be removed from libraries and schools. In 2006, the ALA received 546 such challenges, up from 405 in 2005.

And Tango Makes Three The most challenged book of 2006, "And Tango Makes Three," tells the tale of two male penguins caring for an egg from a mixed-sex penguin couple. The award-winning book by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell was challenged most often for perceived references to homosexuality.

The "10 Most Challenged Books of 2006," according to the American Library Association

  • "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.

Related Resources:

ALA: Banned Books Week

The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books From 1990-2000

Most Challenged Books of the 21st century (2000-2005)