Bible, ‘Fifty Shades’ among most challenged books

Updated 10:38 PM EDT, Tue April 12, 2016

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The American Library Association names the most challenged books of 2015

The themes of books on the list include religion and homosexuality

(CNN) —  

Among the topics addressed in the Bible: fornication, masturbation, murder, moneylending, deceitful families, dishonest authorities and – especially – religion.

Of all those, it’s the last one that got the book named to the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books of 2015.

The association put out its annual listing of most challenged books (PDF) Monday, and the Bible came in sixth. (Reason: “religious viewpoint.”) It’s the first appearance on the list for the Good Book, using records back to 2001.

Indeed, the list featured a number of newcomers, as well as books returning the list for the first time in years.

Tops was “Looking for Alaska,” John Green’s novel about students at a boarding school. After two consecutive years on the list, it had dropped off entirely last year.

Green tweeted about the entry to his more than 5 million followers.

Also returning is E L James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the first novel in the author’s erotic trilogy. It, too, had dropped off the list last year after being among the top 10 in 2012 and 2013.

On the other hand, Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” last year’s No. 1 most challenged book, was not among this year’s top 10. It had made the list every year from 2010 to 2014.

Challenges were made to libraries to protest content including homosexuality, offensive language, violence and unsuitability to the book’s age group. Intriguingly, one reason for the challenge to “Fifty Shades of Grey” was that it was “poorly written.”

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom recorded 275 challenges in 2015, down from 311 in 2014. The top year for challenges was 2004, when the office received 547. It defines a challenge as “a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.”

CNN’s Tony Marco contributed to this report.