100 Scope Notes
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ALA Most Frequently Challenged Books 2010

It’s a little known fact that most librarians mark the beginning of spring not by the first bloom, but by the release of the American Library Association’s most frequently challenged book list. Nothing says rebirth like a fresh batch of books that some people think should never have been born. Let’s take a look at the top five:

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

Click here to see the rest of the list at the ALA website.

Other than And Tango Makes Three (which returns to the top spot after a year at #2), the top five is all new.

(Top Image: ‘Untitled‘ http://www.flickr.com/photos/hatchergraduatelibrary/5062954986/)

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I am about to check out Tango Makes Three. I hope my children and I survive.

  2. The Hunger Games? Seriously? That’s pretty sad…

  3. “And Tango Makes Three” is a fave in our house, but then so is “Brave New World.” Guess that makes us subversive radicals!

  4. rainbowpancakes says:

    Crank? Really? I have every Ellen Hopkins book that’s been published thus far, and I don’t see anything wrong with it.
    Standards are going pretty low when you challenge books that give an idea of human nature and homosexuality…