Book on text messaging teens prompts most book challenges of 2009
“TTYL” series tops ALA's 2009 Top Ten list of most frequently challenged books
CHICAGO –Lauren Myracle’s best-selling young adult novel series "TTYL," the first-ever novels written entirely in the style of instant messaging, tops the American Library Association’s (ALA) Top Ten list of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009.
Two books are new to the list: Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer and “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult.
Both Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and Robert Cormier’s “The Chocolate War” return after being dropped from the list in 2008.
“Even though not every book will be right for every reader, the ability to read, speak, think and express ourselves freely are core American values,” said Barbara Jones, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Protecting one of our most fundamental rights – the freedom to read – means respecting each other’s differences and the right of all people to choose for themselves what they and their families read.”
For nearly 20 years, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has collected reports on book challenges. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed or restricted because of content or appropriateness. In 2009, OIF received 460 reports on efforts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.
Though OIF receives reports of challenges in public libraries, schools, and school libraries from a variety of sources, a majority of challenges go unreported. OIF estimates that its statistics reflect only 20-25% of the challenges that actually occur.
The ALA’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009 reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:
1. “TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs
2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin RichardsonReasons: Homosexuality
3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen ChboskyReasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide
4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie MeyerReasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. SalingerReasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi PicoultReasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence
8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn MacklerReasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert CormierReasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
Seven titles were dropped from the list, including: His Dark Materials Trilogy (Series) by Philip Pullman (Political Viewpoint, Religious Viewpoint, Violence); Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz (Occult/Satanism, Religious Viewpoint, Violence); "Bless Me, Ultima" by Rudolfo Anaya (Occult/Satanism, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Sexually Explicit, Violence); Gossip Girl (Series) by Cecily von Ziegesar (Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group); "Uncle Bobby’s Wedding" by Sarah S. Brannen (Homosexuality, Unsuited to Age Group); "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini (Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group); and "Flashcards of My Life" by Charise Mericle Harper (Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group).
Also new this year is an updated list of the top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of the Decade (2000 – 2009). Topping the list is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, frequently challenged for various issues including occult/Satanism and anti-family themes. A complete listing can be found at http://tinyurl.com/top100fcb. http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/alexawards/alexawards.cfm