children’s book on male penguins raising chick tops ala's 2007 list of most challenged books

Contact: Macey Morales
Manager, Media Relations
(312) 280-4393
For Immediate Release,
May 7, 2008

Children’s book on male penguins raising chick tops ALA's 2007 list of most challenged books


CHICAGO – For a second consecutive year, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s award-winning "And Tango Makes Three," a children’s book about two male penguins caring for an orphaned egg, tops the list of American Library Association’s (ALA) 10 Most Challenged Books of 2007.


Three books are new to the list “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes; “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman; and “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle.


“Free access to information is a core American value that should be protected,” said Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Not every book is right for each reader, but an individual’s interpretation of a book should not take away my right to select reading materials for my family or myself."


For more than 15 years, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has received reports on book challenges. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. In 2007 the OIF received 420 reports on efforts to abolish materials from school curriculum and library bookshelves.


Public libraries, schools and school libraries report challenges to OIF, but a majority of challenges go unreported.


The "10 Most Challenged Books of 2007" reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:



1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell 

Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group


2. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier

Reasons:  Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence


3. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes

Reasons:  Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language


4. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman

Reasons:  Religious Viewpoint


5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain

Reasons:  Racism


6. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,


7. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle

Reasons:  Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group


8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou

Reasons:  Sexually Explicit


9. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris

Reasons:  Sex Education, Sexually Explicit


10. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons:  Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group


Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. "The Bluest Eye" and "Beloved," both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.


For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Web site at


The Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.