The ALA’s top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2010

AKA, The Cynical-C books to read list:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: Insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

4. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

6. Lush by Natasha Friend
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Reasons: Sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

8. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: Drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint

9. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: Homosexuality, sexually explicit

10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, violence


  1. Happy to say I’ve read 2), 3) and 8). The fact that “Nickel and Dimed” is challenged is particularly troubling, as the book is an outstanding testament to how the deck is stacked against the working poor in this country. Fascinating, funny, yet immensely sad and informative, “Nickel and Dimed” should be required reading in all schools, particularly institutions where the wealthy send their children. If nothing else, it might teach them how to tip decently.

    1. Absolutely. Nickled an Dimed should be required reading in schools. If you can read it and not realize how fucked our country is, you are the living incarnation of Ayn Rand.

  2. Nope – can’t have folks reading about the dangers of a distopian state (Brave New World), how (as @Erich Shrempp states) the economic deck is stacked against anybody who is not rich (Nickel and Dimed), or the supernatural (Twilight) that does not involve one particular long-haired zombie in a loin cloth with holes in his hands and feet…. nosirreebob!

  3. #10 should be banned for many reasons; horrible writing, setting unrealistic expectations for teen girls viz. boyfriends, more horrible writing, making Robert whathisface famous, etc.

    1. Well apparently people have issues with it due to the religious viewpoint and violent content. Hmm, I can think of another book that meets those criteria…

      1. I have issues with the religious viewpoint and violent content in the Bible. We should get it banned for being harmful to children

  4. Brave New World has been upsetting readers since 1932.

    80. Effing. Years. Almost.

    Fine, fine writing if it still has that much emotional power over many decades of social change.

    Required reading for my kids.

  5. I’m not clear on why Alexie’s book is number two. A far as I can tell, it was only challenged in one school district. Was it because nearly every parent in the school district voted to remove the book from the school curriculum, and they’re counting each parent as a single challenge?

    Maybe the ALA should be more open with their methodology.

  6. My 3.5 year old son picked #1 out at the library because, well, penguins are cute. He was, as I anticipated, completely fine with it. Why wouldn’t two boy penguins, who spend all their time together and can’t have a baby get to raise one when they’ve shown they want to.

    Of course, he also got The Hen who Crowed. Meaning that he’s already gotten the G and T out of GLBT. I know there’s a book about two mommies…I hesitate to imagine what a toddler book about bisexuals would look like…

    1. Children do not get the credit they deserve. They are so open to accepting the way the world actually works. Gay people have been living together since the beginning, and it should not be a big deal. An un-tainted child will accept this with no problem. I think kids may actually have a better sense of logic than many adults do.

  7. Here in Seattle, a high school dropped Brave New World from the curriculum after a Native American parent objected to the portrayal of “savages” in the novel, claiming it was racist. I highly doubt said parent actually read the book.

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