Each year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books. The information comes from two sources: newspapers and reports submitted by individuals, a database is then compiled into a list that ALA puts in their bimonthly Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom. Through out the week we will feature the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2007.
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received a total of 420 challenges last year. 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.
Our first banned book is And Tango Makes Three, a 2005 children’s book written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole. The book is based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male Chinstrap Penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo who for six years formed a couple. The book follows part of this time in the penguins’ lives. This book aims to send the reader the message that it is okay to be in, or know someone who has, a “non-traditional” family.
These male penguins are observed trying to hatch a rock that looked a lot like an egg. The zookeepers decided to give the couple the second egg of a mixed-sex penguin couple which have had been unable to hatch two eggs at once. Roy and Silo hatched and raised the healthy young chick, a female named “Tango” by keepers, together as a family.
Reasons for Challenge: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group