Philip Pullman, Khaled Hosseini top ALA’s most frequently challenged banned books list

I was quite surprised this week to see so much classic literature topping the ALA’s most frequently challenged list for 2009. To clarify, this is a list of books that are challenged by individuals in the community. They have to submit a “challenge form” stating their reasons, to a school or public library.

First off, here’s the list:

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
  3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
  5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
  7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
  9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group

Now, I want to know: should these books actually be *allowed* to be challenged? Doesn’t that basically just amount to censorship, pure and simple? If parents are truly concerned about their children reading non-appropriate material for their age group (which is a valid concern of course!), perhaps books should be getting ratings, the same way movies do. At least to borrow from a public library would set age restrictions on younger patrons. What do you think? Would you also challenge any of these books? Find out more about other banned books over the years on Infloox.

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5 Comments on “Philip Pullman, Khaled Hosseini top ALA’s most frequently challenged banned books list”


  1. […] Pullman, Hosseini top ALA’s top banned books list […]


  2. […] Pullman, Hosseini top ALA’s top banned books list […]


  3. […] Pullman, Hosseini top ALA’s top banned books list […]


  4. […] Pullman, Hosseini top ALA’s top banned books list […]

  5. draabe Says:

    A free society has to allow the challenges, much as it has to allow the publishing (and shelving) of the books, right?

    (…nice blog!)


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