The 10 Most "Challenged" Books of 2007

shelved under Young Adult & Teen

Each year, the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten books most frequently challenged as too offensive to appear in a public library. Below is the list for 2007.

For the curious, the ALA received a total of 420 challenges in '07; a challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The ALA doesn't claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges — research suggests that for each challenge reported there are as many as four or five which go unreported.

Personally, the inclusion of "...Huck Finn", "Caged Bird..." and "The Color Purple" gives me an uneasy sense that there's an undercurrent of racism in this list. That two Toni Morrison books are frequently included only reinforces that.

And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three

by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell

Included for the following reasons: "Anti-ethnic, sexism, homosexuality, anti-family, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group."

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The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War

by Robert Cormier

Included for the following reasons: "Sexually explicit, offensive language, and violence."

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This book also appears on The 10 Most "Challenged" Books of 2009

 
 
Olive's Ocean

Olive's Ocean

by Kevin Henkes

Included for the following reasons: "Sexually explicit and offensive language."

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The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

by Philip Pullman

Included for the following reason: "Religious viewpoint."

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This book also appears on Books for Strong Girls in Middle School

 
 
The Color Purple

The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

Included for the following reasons: "Homosexuality, sexually explicit, and offensive language."

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ttyl

ttyl

by Lauren Myracle

Included for the following reasons: "Sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group."

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

Included for the following reason: "Sexually explicit."

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This book also appears on In Honor of Darwin, A Menagerie of Species

 
 
It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health

It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health

by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley

Included for the following reason: "Sexually explicit."

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

Included for the following reasons: "Homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group."

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

Included for the following reason: "Racism."

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