The American Library Association (ALA) has published its list of the most challenged books of 2008. Top spot was once again taken by "And Tango Makes Three" the award winning children's book about two male penguins who become parents however Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner (which was challenged because of the books rape scene), 's "Dark Materials" trilogy (for being violent and anti-religious), 's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (drugs, suicide, language) and a myriad of other titles were also heavily challenged.
The ALA explained that in total there were 513 challenges last year, which resulted in books being pulled from library shelves 74 times. The ALA defines a challenge as a "formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness."
I think we have covered this topic on many occasions here at the BookFinder.com Journal so I will keep this brief but I am constantly amazed that complaints are being filed about books like Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, and picture books about pengins. Parents should have a keen interest in what their children read, and as such help guide them to make good decisions. But I think libraries should be free of censorship and screening and even though only 74 books were removed from the shelves of libraries that was still about 1 for every 7 complaints.
It makes me wonder if the people complaining about these books shout as loudly about the violence on TV (even in the news), sexuality in advertizements and course language in music...