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List: Top Ten Books Americans Want Banned (USA)

Date: 2008

Source: American Library Association (ALA)

Base: The ALA recorded 513 challenges in 2008, up from 420 in 2007. The ALA defines a challenge as "a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed or restricted because of content or appropriateness". It estimates that as few as one in five challenges are actually reported.

Notes: Topping the list in 2008 was, for the third year running, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell's And Tango Makes Three, a children's book about two male penguins who bring up an orphaned chick. The book was criticised for being pro-gay, anti-religion and anti-family. "Books that address same-sex parenting, or same-sex relationships, are particularly prone to challenges in the US," said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the ALA's office for intellectual freedom, which has collected information on challenged books for the last 20 years. Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, rose to second place overall in 2008 from fourth the previous year, distressing challengers over its political viewpoint, religious viewpoint and violent scenes. Last year Pullman said his immediate reaction on hearing the news was "glee". "They never learn," he said. "The inevitable result of trying to ban something - book, film, play, pop song, whatever - is that far more people want to get hold of it than would ever have done if it were left alone. Why don't the censors realise this?"





And Tango Makes Three

Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell


His Dark Materials (trilogy)

Philip Pullman


TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series)

Lauren Myracle


Scary Stories (series)

Alvin Schwartz


Bless Me, Ultima

Rudolfo Anaya


The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Stephen Chbosky


Gossip Girl (series)

Cecily von Ziegesar


Uncle Bobby's Wedding

Sarah S. Brannen


The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini


Flashcards of My Life

Charise Mericle Harper

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