10 most challenged books list for 2012 includes some newcomers(Read article summary)
The most-challenged book series of 2012 was the 'Captain Underpants' books by Dav Pilkey. Former list-toppers 'ttyl' and 'The Hunger Games' are missing from the list entirely.
There were 464 challenges in total in 2012, according to the Office of Intellectual Freedom, an increase from 2011 when 326 were reported.
The â€śCaptain Underpantsâ€ť series by Dav Pilkey are the No. 1 most challenged books for the year, with those who challenged the series claiming that these books are inappropriate for their target audience and have â€śoffensive language.â€ť The "Captain Underpants" books (the first of which was published in 1997) didn't appear in the Top 10 of last year's list and, in fact, have not appeared on any such list since 2005.Â
The No. 2 most-challenged title on the 2012 list is â€śThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indianâ€ť by Sherman Alexie, which was the fifth-most challenged title in 2011 and the second-most in 2010. Those who filed complaints against the book called it inappropriate for its age group and said that it had â€śoffensive language, racism, [and was] sexually explicit.â€ť
Behind Alexie's novel at No. 3 is â€śThirteen Reasons Whyâ€ť by Jay Asher. The novel was released in 2011 and follows a boy named Clay who is left a series of tapes by his classmate, Hannah, who had committed suicide weeks earlier. In addition to complaints that this book is inappropriate for its age group, â€śThirteen Reasons Whyâ€ť is also said to have content discussing â€śdrugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide.â€ť
Another newcomer to the list is the notoriously raunchy â€śFifty Shades of Greyâ€ť series by EL James. (Because the ALA includes any "formal, written complaint, filed with a library or schoolâ€ť in its criteria for compiling this list, the presence of â€śFifty Shades of Greyâ€ť in the No. 4 slot does not necessarily mean that the book is being stocked in school libraries.Â Complaints may well have come from readers who object to seeing the book their local library.)
Long-time "most-challenged book" list staple â€śAnd Tango Makes Threeâ€ť by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson â€“ a picture book about two male penguins who adopt a baby â€“ reappeared this year in fifth place after being completely absent from the list in 2011.
No. 6 on the 2012 list is â€śThe Kite Runnerâ€ť by Khaled Hosseini, which had been missing from the list since 2008, when it ranked ninth. No. 8 is â€śScary Storiesâ€ť series by Alvin Schmidt, which reappeared on the 2012 list after last coming in at No. 4 in 2008
Meanwhile, the books that ranked No. 7 (â€śLooking for Alaskaâ€ť by John Green) and No. 9 (â€śThe Glass Castleâ€ť by Jeanette Walls) were both first-timers on the list. â€śLooking for Alaskaâ€ť follows a boy named Miles who goes to boarding school and falls in love with a girl named Alaska. â€śLooking for Alaskaâ€ť contains â€śoffensive language, sexually explicit [content]â€ť in addition to being unsuitable for its target audience, according to complaints. â€śThe Glass Castle,â€ť a bestselling memoir that describes the early lives of Walls and her brother, was charged with â€śsexually explicitâ€ť and â€śoffensive" language.
No. 10, â€śBelovedâ€ť by Toni Morrison, last appeared on the list in 2006, when it came in ninth.
Titles missing from the list this year included the No. 1 most-challenged series for 2011, the â€śttylâ€ť books by Lauren Myracle. The â€śColor of Earthâ€ť series by Kim Dong Hwa, which ranked second last year, also fell off the list, as did last year's No. 3, â€śThe Hunger Gamesâ€ť by Suzanne Collins, and last year's No. 4, â€śMy Momâ€™s Having A Baby!â€ť