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Gay Penguin Children's Book 'And Tango Makes Three' is Once Again the Nation's Most Controversial Library Book


And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell is the most challenged book once again, according to the American Library Association:

"And Tango Makes Three" is an award-winning children’s book about the true story of two male Emperor Penguins hatching and parenting a baby chick at New York’s Central Park Zoo. The book has appeared on the ALA’s Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books for the past five years and returns to the number one slot after a brief stay at the number two position in 2009. There have been dozens of attempts to remove And Tango Makes Threefrom school and public library shelves. Those seeking to remove the book have described it as "unsuited for age group," and cited "religious viewpoint" and "homosexuality" as reasons for challenging the book.

Read this year's top 10 challenged books, and the reasons given, AFTER THE JUMP...

The ALA’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010 include the following titles; each title is followed by the reasons given for challenging the book:

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" edited by Amy Sonnie

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit

10. "Twilight" by  Stephenie Meyer

Reasons: Religious Viewpoint, Violence


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  1. Wait until Perez Hilton's "children's book" comes out. That will not only, likely, be publicly burned by extremists, but Perez himself is likely to be burnt in effigy. Although I think he deserves the latter.

    Posted by: Ioann | Apr 13, 2011 8:12:56 AM

  2. Damn! Y'all Americans are RELIGOUS!!!

    Posted by: Rowan | Apr 13, 2011 8:20:23 AM

  3. I'm starting to think we need to form our own religion - "The Church of GLBQT & Allies" if you will. Then when this kind of garbage starts we could issue statements saying, for example in this case, criticism of this book is an insult to our religious viewpoint. Time for fighting fire with fire.

    Posted by: Rob | Apr 13, 2011 9:38:06 AM

  4. If you notice, basically all of the most controversial books are because of the supposed sexual content in the books. That just highlights the puritan attitudes of so many in this country when it comes to anything that could even be implied as sexual in the eyes of the twisted.

    The thing that always gets me though is how a lot of parents want to just ban the books entirely, although many parents have no issue with the book. They are so scared and threatened by anything that doesn't fit their puritan beliefs that they want to completely censor anyone and everyone from reading the book so they don't become "brainwashed" in their eyes. So sick. Shows you how little so many have matured in this country.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 13, 2011 9:40:24 AM

  5. I think I finally have my summer reading list!

    Posted by: Jeff | Apr 13, 2011 9:43:15 AM

  6. I promise to buy "And Tango Makes Three" for my granddaughter for her 2nd birthday. Also... check out the children's books by Peter De Witt. and at amazon:

    Posted by: Gene | Apr 13, 2011 9:48:38 AM

  7. Nickle and Dimed? WTF? Who are these thought police? Is this the Fox News banned book list?

    Posted by: kodiak | Apr 13, 2011 10:32:31 AM

  8. WOW. Thoughts:

    Nickeled and Dimed is required reading, It is on this list because if everyone read it there would be real change and reform for the poor.

    Big props to Sherman Alexie for making the list!

    And lastly why does anyone care what the crazy-overprotective-delusional-people-who-don't-read think? Ah 'Merica, Where the last person you would want is the first person asked.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Apr 13, 2011 11:11:17 AM

  9. @Jeff Exactly what I was thinking.

    Posted by: Stephen | Apr 13, 2011 12:49:03 PM

  10. Absolutely infuriating. A family friend bought me "And Tango Makes Three" as a gift a couple of years ago and it is just about the cutest thing ever put on paper.

    Posted by: Lucas | Apr 13, 2011 1:31:30 PM

  11. If you feel strongly about this issue, there's one thing you can do for sure to make a difference. Find out if your local or school librarian supports or opposes viewpoint discrimination. If they oppose it (as they should), then thank them for keeping an open mind and an open library. If they support it, complain to whoever employs them. (City or county council, etc.)

    Posted by: JDB | Apr 13, 2011 7:42:44 PM

  12. There is another popular book that I've seen in numerous school libraries (including elementary schools!) that seems to have slipped under the radar.

    It has more violence than these ten all combined, plus numerous orgies, rapes, illicit affairs, sex between sons and mothers, people masturbating with animal idols, depictions of cult rituals and men having sex with hundreds of women.

    It's called the Holy Bible.
    Have there been no complaints?

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 13, 2011 11:31:48 PM

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