'Captain Underpants' leads list of 'most challenged' books

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It’s been 16 years (!) since Dav Pilkey’s inaugural novel about a certain tighty-whitey-clad crusader first hit shelves — but some parents are still wishing that the superhero would go up, up, and away.

Pilkey’s¬†Captain Underpants series tops the American Library Association’s list of the past year’s “most frequently challenged books,” an annual account collected by the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Though the ALA is currently celebrating Banned Books Week, the items on this list haven’t necessarily been barred from libraries; instead, they’ve been the targets of “formal, written complaint[s], filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.” The ALA notes that the number of challenges reflect only reported incidents — though it estimates that “for every¬†reported challenge, four or five remain unreported.”

Find a full list of 2012′s most frequently challenged books — as well as the reasons given for those challenges — below.

  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

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