Reporting (and I use that term very loosely) on the most challenged books is like reporting the contents of my lunch bag – ain’t much changing. The American Library Association recently released their annual challenged books list, and there are a lot of familiar faces. Let’s take a look at the top five:

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, violence
  3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, violence
  5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, violence

And Tango Makes Three has been a challenged mainstay since it was first published in 2005. With the national debate over gay rights not likely to go away anytime soon, expect to see this one near the top for a while. His Dark Materials shot up last year’s list largely due to the release of the film version of The Golden Compass, which caused a stir in some religious circles. The Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz has been getting people’s ire up for years. The TTYL series has climbed to the #3 slot, from #7 last year. I’m guessing this is due to new books being added to the series (there’s so much more to dislike!). The lone top five surprise is Bless Me, Ultima, which did not appear on any of the most frequently challenged lists dating back to 1991.

Want to see the rest of the top 10? Click here to visit the ALA website.

School Library Journal also published an article about 2008’s most frequently challenged books.

(Top Image: ‘Against Banned Books (Please Spread This Pic+&+The+Text)