Banned Books Week

Celebrating the Freedom to Read: Sept. 21-27, 2014

Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants tops the frequently challenged books list of 2012

Wed, 04/17/2013 - 14:06 -- Nanette Perez

 The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom released the top ten most frequently challenged books list of 2012 as part of the State of America's Library Report on Monday, April 15. Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series ranked #1, having been challenged for "offensive language" and "unsuited to age group." Captain Underpants also appeared on the Top Ten lists in 2002, 2004, and 2005. New to the Top Ten list are Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher at #3, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James at #4, and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls at #9. Back on the list after one year off is Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson's And Tango Makes Three.Out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin SchwartzReasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette WallsReasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni MorrisonReasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

138 more challenges were reported for 2012 than 2011, at least in part due to success of OIF's Challenge Reporting Campaign. If you know of a book that has been banned or challenged in a library or school, please help us by reporting it.