Thursday, May 08, 2008

And Tango makes three...

When you think of "objectionable books", does a children's story about penguins immediately pop into mind?

Well, apparently "And Tango Makes Three", about a family of penguins with two fathers, is once again at the top of the list of library books that the public objects to the most, according to the American Library Association.

Evidently, the people complaining worry that young children "will believe that homosexuality is a lifestyle that is acceptable," says Judith King, director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.


Under the ALA definition, a "challenge" is a formal written complain filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of the content or appropriateness.

What other books are on this year's Top 10 List? Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", and Philip Pullman's "The Golden Compass", among others.

Although the number of library challenges has dropped from 546 in 2006 to 420 last year, at least 65 challenges last year led to a book being pulled from the shelves.

What are your thoughts on library challenges?


  1. One of the things that bind us as a nation are the shared/common classic texts. My mom read Huck Finn, I read Huck Finn, my kids should read Huck Finn. You know what I mean? We reference certains books in pop culture all the time--and it is one way that we stay bonded despite all the changes in tech and attitudes, etc.

    Very sad.

  2. Oh, geez. *sigh*

    There are lots o' books out there that I don't like, but I don't think we should ban them because I want to enforce my morality on others. End of story.

  3. I'm with you, Rhonda. But I have to tell you. One of the "best" things about book bans is that students are totally hooked into the buzz... and having taught high school English for a long time, those smart souls adore controversy... So bans just make them pick up them up and devour them. And that's how really, really good discussion happens...

  4. Yeah, good point Deanna. Teens and preteens LOVE anything that's forbidden.

  5. I don't understand challenging a book. If parents choose to censor what a child reads (good luck with that) then go for it. But it's offensive to me that an agency can decide what belongs on a shelf and what doesn't. What is objectionable to one person, won't be to another. There is no justification for pulling a book...ever.

  6. I think it's ridiculous.
    I read every book that was on the ban list my junior year, and I wrote reviews about them and sent them in to the school paper with a list of places you could still find the banned books. I don't think I found a single thing in any of them that personally offended me.
    I think it's a little disturbing that parents and teachers are banning any kind of book, seeing as how most of them complain that their children don't read enough. Taking books away from them doesn't seem like it would help that problem much, if anything it's making it worse.
    Though I will agree that making the books banned just made them that more appealing to me.

  7. I agree. As a parent, you can censor your own child's reading all you want, if that's what you want to do. But don't keep others from reading those books.

  8. I'm sickened to find that a blog for young adult literature would support the filthy, subversive perversions in a book celebrating penguin degeneracy.

    This is disgusting.

    *Americans for a Rootie Tootie Smut-Free Society*

  9. (that was sarcasm.)

  10. I think they're ridiculous. Intelligent people are not the ones who hide from information. You should never fear information you should fear ignorance.