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10 Most Complained About Books of 2009

10 Most Complained About Books of 2009

Sexual explicitness, offensive language, and inappropriate content for age groups are the top three reasons parents and people with little else to do complain about books. Wednesday the American Library Association released its top 10 most complained about books of 2009.

Last year we told you about nine books that had been banned in various libraries and schools across the country. Not surprisingly, there are a few crossovers with this list. Check it out below.

  1. The Chocolate War: This 36-year-old book is still accused of foul language, sexual explicitness, nudity, and being unsuited for its age group. (It is categorized as young adult.)
  2. The Color Purple: Perennially hated, this Pulitzer prize-winning book is loathed for being sexually explicit and profane. Its content has been called unsuited for its age group; though, it's not labeled young adult.
  3. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things: Recommended on Amazon for grades 7-10, this book has been called unsuited for its age group. Also? What else but sexually explicit.
  4. My Sister's Keeper: From homosexuality to drugs to suicide, this decidedly adult book has been accused of everything. Including being unsuitable for its age group.
  5. The Catcher in the Rye: Ahh, yes Holden Caulfield will always be known for his potty mouth, sex-crazed 16-year-old imagination, and having a poor attitude. This all makes the novel unsuitable for other 16 year olds.
  6. Twilight: It seems you can't win! People have complained about Twilight's religious viewpoint and being sexually explicit.

To see the final four,


  1. To Kill a Mockingbird: Let's see. Besides being one of the most valuable depictions of race relations in the South, it's totally offensive. For, of course, the very racism it tries to fight.
  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This book was banned from a ninth grade classroom for being too sexual. Other complaints? It's antifamily, there's gay characters in it, and people take drugs and say bad words. It is, however, labeled young adult.
  3. And Tango Makes Three: This terrible, terrible children's book has been banned more than once for featuring two same-sex penguins in a committed relationship and parenting a child penguin. While the complaints are numerous, there's only one problem: homosexuality.
  4. TTYL: The most complained about book has been banished from at least one middle-school library for profanity. Complaints range from nudity (emoticons?) and drugs to sexual explicitness and language.

Any surprise you?

Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 7 years
and I think I have my wishlist for Amazon..
mamamiamandy mamamiamandy 7 years
ridiculous!!! sexually explicit... I wish!!!!
Rosay77 Rosay77 7 years
There is no such thing as "harmless fluff". Every novel has subliminal messages and hidden themes in them. One just has to look beneath the sugar coated surface.
x3Lorelei x3Lorelei 7 years
I actually agree with TTYL being banned from middle schools.. it's definitely very sexually explicit and it's not something kids that age should be reading. In fact, I see nothing wrong with booksthat have been named young adult, yet put romance novels and even soft porn fiction to shame being kept out of the hands of young kids in our public schools. If the kids want to read it so bad they can go check it out from the public county library. So in that respect the south has it right (although I don't recall anything mentioning the south was the one to ban them, and I and many other NCer's were required to read books like To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye, which i actually found quite boring.)
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
I love love love to kill a mockingbird!! It's the best! =)
Lyv Lyv 7 years
I can't believe it's 2010 and I have to hear about books getting banned. In schools. Isn't it hard enough getting young people to read ? I wonder if this happens outside the US (and outside countries with crazy government).
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
Ah, the South (and Midwest) shall fail again!
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
heh, thanks!! :> He's my little bug.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
MissSushi, i really can't read anything you say without looking at that baby and imagining how squishy and cuddly it would be to hold, awww ;)
lilegwene lilegwene 7 years
Book banning is ridiculous. I do loathe some of the books on the list though.
franceslopez franceslopez 7 years
I will be forever grateful to Twilight if only for the parodies and Dustin Rowles' review of the first movie (at I actually did want to like Twilight, because I'm basically a very cheesy kind of person who cries during the Transformers movies. But I tried reading the first chapter, and it's just so, so, so, so, so tedious and descriptive and tediously descriptive. Also, Bella seems hard to sympathise with.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
lol, its harmless fluff. I've never before complained about how poorly written a book is, becuase i don't care if i find the subject matter interesting, but egads if you want to see a terribly written set of books read the house of night books by kristin and pc cast... its horrible. it makes twilight read like a work of art.
jhuseby420 jhuseby420 7 years
Looks like I have a new list of books to read :)
franceslopez franceslopez 7 years
Damnit, MissSushi, why'd you have to destroy my fantasy?? :-) I stand corrected. It still seems like a pretty lousy book, though.
jocupcake jocupcake 7 years
Haha. The whole wolf thing in Twilight is supposed to be like a cool myth about that particular tribe. I don't think you have much to go on if you're trying to argue that Twilight is mocking Native Americans... I mean, the main character falls in love with a native american boy and he's constantly described and very attractive, muscular, and sweet.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Stephen King has a great quote (and I can't find it right now) about reading what's banned, because that's exactly what they don't want you to know.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
I read Twilight and enjoyed it like I do junk food: I know it's awful for me, and it has no substance but it can be enjoyable in small doses. Twilight isn't literature. It's popular but that doesn't make it well-written. The main relationship is abusive and controlling. Bella's entire life is Edward, Edward, Edward. She has no friends and no interests outside of him. He watches her sleep (creepy). We know almost nothing about Bella except that she loves Edward and it's tru luv 4eva. Oh, and she's a klutz.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I'm glad that some of these books were required reading. As for the others, people need to calm down, stop attempting to censor material that happens to disagree with their narrow-minded little viewpoints, and allow their children to be exposed to different ideas.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
lol... they weren't descended from wolves. you might want to go ahead and read it so your mocking actually makes sense.
franceslopez franceslopez 7 years
I for one am quite pleased that Twilight is being challenged. I'll admit to not having read it. I was going to, if only to make fun of it, but then I found out that the Native American characters were descended from wolves. Excuse me? Yes, and all white people are descendants of Tupperware. I cannot believe that To Kill A Mockingbird, Catcher In The Rye, and The Colour Purple are still being challenged. These books should be compulsory reading! I'm so grateful that my parents never once censored my reading or viewing material. They trusted my siblings and I to make the right decisions and I think we tried to.
jocupcake jocupcake 7 years
Oh god I hated "Of Mice and Men"! It was just so depressing. We also read Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, 1984, and the Handmaiden's Tale in that class... so I guess it was a depressing year.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I loved reading Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird in 10th grade english. I seem to remember there was some controversy of parents not wanting us to read Of Mice and Men too. Books everyone should read!
marcied23 marcied23 7 years
honestly, i thought twilight made the list b/c of it being poorly written (one dimensional characters, uneven plot), not because of it's "religious" viewpoints.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
I went to public high school in the U.S. and several of these books were required reading. Some conservative areas (bible belt) do try to ban, though.
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