Banned Books Week - The 10 Most Challenged Titles Of 2012

Banned Books Week – The 10 Most Challenged Titles Of 2012


In this post to celebrate banned books week, we share the most challenged titles of 2012.

Banned Books Week: 22 – 29 September 2013

What is Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week is the book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, book stores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2012 were:

  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 Schwartz Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence.
  9. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit.
  10. Beloved by Toni Morrison. Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence.

most challenged titles of 2012

Source for Information

Image created by Writers Write at KeepCalm

 by Amanda Patterson

This article has 3 comments

  1. Sristi

    oh come on..how can Beloved be on that list… that’s just sad! I can understand 50 shades being there though due to not just all those reasons but also due to bad narration

  2. Emily Weich

    WHA– 13 REASONS WHY REALLY??

  3. Susan Lewis Paciga

    I assigned Thirteen Reasons Why to my accelerated eighth graders for about 5 years running along with other books, and it was universally acclaimed by my students. One year, I had a student kill herself, which was horrible for all of us, and I seriously considered keeping the book off the list of options, but decided that it was exactly what some of the kids needed to read. They love that book, so, obviously, it must be bad for them.

    I also had Glass Castle as a summer reading assignment and got an aggrieved email from the chair of my department; apparently, a parent had complained about the language. I literally went through the book and counted offensive words: one f*ck, one motherf*cker, one c*nt, a couple of G*d damns….the chair still wanted to pull it. I convinced him to send out an email warning the parents of potentially offensive language and suggesting the parents choose one of the other non-fiction books in its place: Zeitoun or A Walk in the Woods instead. I mentioned this to the class on the first day, and the kids who had read A Walk in the Woods cracked up. (I hadn’t gotten around to reading it); apparently, it’s liberally sprinkled with f*cks. But I guess it slipped through under the Grundies’ noses.

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