America’s Most Challenged Books


The American Library Association’s 2010 List of Most Challenged Books has been officially released.

This year’s scandalous subject matter includes penguin adoption, vampire love and topics in Aldous Huxley’s classic novel, Brave New World. Apparently, heralding the perils of a heavily censored future is offensive to teachers and librarians alike—more challenge-worthy than Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, but slightly more appropriate than a true story about two male penguins adopting a chick. Though the list gets tucked away into the annals of the ALA’s State of America’s Library Report, their director of the Office Intellectual Freedom confirmed that the list would not lead to any sort of literary dystopia:

“While we firmly support the right of every reader to choose or reject a book for themselves or their families, those objecting to a particular book should not be given the power to restrict other readers’ right to access and read that book,” […] “As members of a pluralistic and complex society, we must have free access to a diverse range of viewpoints on the human condition in order to foster critical thinking and understanding.  We must protect one of the most precious of our fundamental rights – the freedom to read.”

Sam Riley is an adult who works at McSweeney's. More from this author →