Top 10 Banned Books in America

By
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 6:23 pm

The topic of book banning entered the national conversation since the public started hearing about Sarah Palin’s inquiry into censoring books at the Wasilla, Alaska, public library when she was mayor.  (Check out the Mat-Su Frontiersman’s 1996 coverage of the controversy, dug up from the archives in Wasilla by TWI’s Laura McGann.)

At the time, Palin didn’t specify which books she wanted removed from the shelves.

ABC reports that at the same time Palin was involved in the library controversy, her church was pushing to do away with a book about a teenager addicted to drugs, “Go Ask Alice,” and preacher Howard Bess’ “Pastor, I Am Gay.”

Wasilla church-goers’ efforts to ban gay literature is much like campaigns in other communities across  country. Sexuality, it seems, is regarded as one of the most controversial book topics in the United States.

TWI decided to find out just what books are the most challenged in the nation. So here’s the American Library Assn.’s list of the books subject to the most requests for removal from libraries or curricula in  2007, the latest year data is available.

1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Synopsis: Tango, an orphan puffin at the New York City zoo, is taken in by a loving penguin couple — both male.
Reasons: sexism, homosexuality, anti-family, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
2. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, violence
3. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language
4. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: religious viewpoint
5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons: racism
6. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language,
7. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: sexually explicit
9. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: sex education, sexually explicit
10. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
Courtesy of the American Library Assn.

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Categories & Tags: Education| U.S.| | | | | |

Comments

35 Comments

knt
Comment posted September 11, 2008 @ 10:40 am

Actually, “And Tango Makes Three” is about chinstrap penguins, not puffins. I've read it to my children so many times I can probably recite it from memory! It is also a true story, which apparently rubs some people the wrong way.


Randy
Comment posted January 25, 2009 @ 6:00 am

Thanks for sharing the list. Are these books still banned..


Randy
Comment posted January 25, 2009 @ 6:00 am

Thanks for sharing the list. Are these books still banned.


Albert A. Llamas
Comment posted January 31, 2009 @ 11:24 am

nice article! nice site. you're in my rss feed now ;-)
keep it up


~High School Senior <3
Comment posted March 24, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

It all depends on the school on whether they're banned, because you can find most of these in book stores, so it's not like they're banned all together (like the Exorcist book in Ireland – they're not allowed to have it at all there because of the religious stuff.) My school hasn't ever had any of these on the curriculum, but I’ve seen other lists with books that are still being read in high school English classes at my school, but others on different lists have been removed from the curriculum. I have personally only read TTYL on this list (and I’ve seen the Golden Compass movie), but the reasons they provide here for TTYL are all true about the book, but it’s a teen book, so it’s not like it’s a bad book for teens, it’s kind-of like our lives online.


~High School Senior <3
Comment posted March 24, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

It all depends on the school on whether they're banned, because you can find most of these in book stores, so it's not like they're banned all together (like the Exorcist book in Ireland – they're not allowed to have it at all there because of the religious stuff.) My school hasn't ever had any of these on the curriculum, but I’ve seen other lists with books that are still being read in high school English classes at my school, but others on different lists have been removed from the curriculum. I have personally only read TTYL on this list (and I’ve seen the Golden Compass movie), but the reasons they provide here for TTYL are all true about the book, but it’s a teen book, so it’s not like it’s a bad book for teens, it’s kind-of like our lives online.


Erro
Comment posted March 23, 2010 @ 3:22 am

You mean some homosexual penguins actually raised an orphan penguin?


SLBTS
Comment posted June 28, 2010 @ 4:04 am

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Kids Spelling Games
Comment posted September 22, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

Actually, “And Tango Makes Three” is about chinstrap penguins, not puffins. I've read it to my children so many times I can probably recite it from memory! It is also a true story, which apparently rubs some people the wrong way.


Bek
Comment posted September 26, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

Their only banned in some places. We read Huck Fin for school. And the Perks of Being a Wallflower was on a list of books that we could pick from to do a report on.
And I don't think those are in order…
There are some ridiculous books that have been banned… There are a ton of fantastic books on the decade's most banned books list… People that ban books should probably read them first… just a suggestion


Lillyfrogs
Comment posted January 17, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

Fuck homo’s


MO-JM
Comment posted February 17, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

I’ve always said the best thing concerned parents can do is talk to their children and encourage discussion, rather than trying to censor things. Censorship sends the wrong message.


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Pingback posted March 15, 2011 @ 9:37 am

[...] Top 10 Banned Books in America | The Washington IndependentWasilla church-goers’ efforts to ban gay literature is much like campaigns in other communities across  country. Sexuality, it seems, is regarded as one of the most controversial book topics in the United States. [...]


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Comment posted April 4, 2011 @ 11:03 am

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Comment posted April 4, 2011 @ 11:03 am

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Llrichsards12
Comment posted April 12, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

no, they don’t…. i do.


Llrichsards12
Comment posted April 12, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

no, they don’t…. i do.


Llrichsards12
Comment posted April 12, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

i agree with lilyfrogs


Llrichsards12
Comment posted April 12, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

fuck you!!!


Rakknco187
Comment posted August 3, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

No. The penguins were not homosexual. That was a sham story perpetuated by a left-wing media outlet with an agenda to promote. They did take care of the baby, but there was absolutly no evidence they were homosexual. In fact, there is no empirical evidence that any animals practice homosexuality. Many males of a species, being social creatures, may cohabitate due to lack of suitable females, but this is not the same as being homosexual.


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