In honour of banned books week taking place from september 22nd to the 28th we are taking a look at a number of books you won’t believe were banned or challenged in 2013.
“And Tango Makes Three”, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and Illustrated by Henry Cole. This book tells the true story of two males penguins from New York’s Central Parks Zoo that met in captivity and formed a couple. The two penguins were then given an egg from a penguin couple who could not raise it themselves and proceeded to take turns sitting on the egg until it hatched, and a female chick, Tango, was born. This book has been repeatedly challenged and banned not only because of its mere depiction of homosexuality, but claims that it actively promotes a political agenda to children.
“The Family Book” by Todd Parr. This book was challenged and subsequently outright banned from an elementary school for one single line. The line read “Some families have two mums or two dads”.
“Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk. While this might not necessarily surprise you that the book was banned due to some of the explicit content contained in, it certainly surprised me that even today almost 15 years after its release the book is still courting controversy despite its huge cultural impact.
“The Kite Runner” by Khalid Husseini. This critically acclaimed book, first published in 2003 spent over two years at number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and takes an uncompromising look the recent history of Afghanistan. While it comes as no surprise to learn that the book and movie are banned in Afghanistan because of its negative portrayal of the country, it might surprise you to learn that the book has been challenged several times in the United States, mainly due to its graphic sexual scenes and profanity.
“Looking for Alaska” by John Green. This 2005 novel won a Printz Award in 2006 for young adult literature, but has been challenged and banned for its inappropriate content and language ever since. Famously the book was included in an 11th grade curriculum only to be challenged by parents who labelled it disgusting and pornographic. One of the parents who challenged the books place in the curriculum outright refused to read the book himself and was quoted as saying “One does not need to have cancer to diagnose cancer”.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. This 1999 coming-of-age novel has been published in over 30 languages and spent a year on the New York Times bestseller list, but that hasn’t stopped perks of being a wallflower becoming one of the 10 most frequently challenged books in the last decade, primarily due to its depictions of teenage drug use and exploration of sexuality.
“Captain Underpants” by Dav Pikey. Captain underpants takes the number one spot as the most challenged book of the last year.Parents claim it has offensive language and is entirely unsuitable for its age group. The captain underpants series tells the story of two elementary school children as they battle against their child hating principle.
In order The top 10 most challenged books of last year are:
- Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James
- And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz
- The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
- Beloved by Toni Morrison