‘Captain Underpants’ tops list of most challenged books in 2013

Updated 3:55 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014

Story highlights

Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" series tops list of most challenged books again

Sherman Alexie, Toni Morrison and John Green are other repeat authors on top 10 list

"A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl" by Tanya Lee Stone appears for first time on list

List of challenges compiled as part of Banned Books Week

CNN —  

Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” series was the most challenged book of 2013 for the second year in a row, according to the American Library Association.

Pilkey, author of the illustrated adventures of two fourth-grade pranksters, was one of eight repeat authors on the list of most frequently challenged books in schools and libraries in 2013.

Each year, the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books as part of Banned Books Week, which runs from September 21 to September 27. The goal of Banned Books Week is to celebrate the freedom to read and highlight the pitfalls of censorship.

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,” according to the American Library Association. The number of challenges only reflects incidents reported, and the organization estimates that for every reported challenge, four or five go unreported.

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The annual event started in 1982, the same year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that students’ First Amendment rights were violated when Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” and eight other books were removed from school libraries.

Despite the legal precedent, schools and libraries still receive formal challenges to remove books from library shelves or nix them from reading lists to protect children from material that some see as inappropriate.

Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments what you think of efforts to ban them.