The most complained about books at US schools

The most complained about books at US schools


The most complained about books at US schools 1

Stories with LGBT+ themes, Harry potter and A Handmaid’s Tale were among the most complained about books at schools in the US last year.

On Monday, the American Library Association revealed the books that had the most objections and complaints in 2019.

The two most complained about books were cited for transgender content and were Alex Gino’s George and Susan Kuklin’s Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out.


The third most complained about book was the gay parody of Mike Pence’s wife and daughter’s book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.

The parody of Karen Pence and Charlotte Bond Pence’s book, titled, ​Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, was created by the team behind the popular HBO show.

The blurb for the book states: “With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming children’s book explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy.”

Deborah Caldwell Stone, the head of the library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, told the Associated Press that the list was unsurprising.

“The list shows a continued trend of attacks we’ve seen in recent years,” said Ms Stone.

She added that complaints were filed by both groups and individuals, including the Florida Citizens Alliance, who compiled a list called, “porn in Florida Public Schools.”

Their list included Cory Silverberg’s Sex Is a Funny Word and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, among others.

Harry Potter books were once again included, for the “theme of sorcery” and A Handmaid’s Tale was complained about for “vulgarity and sexual overtones.”

Margaret Atwood, the author of A Handmaid’s Tale, told AP that “if you’re a writer and everybody likes you, a) You’re doing something wrong, or b) You don’t exist.”

She added: “I am happy to be in the company of the Bible, Shakespeare, John Bunyan, Lord Byron, Emily Bronte, Flaubert, James Joyce, Nawal el Sadawi, Angela Carter, Anonymous of A Woman in Berlin, and so many others. Lucky me, I live in a democracy, so at least I’m not in jail or being tossed out of a plane.”

The library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom recorded 377 challenges in 2019, a rise from 347 in 2018, according to AP.

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.”

Ms Stone added that despite the rise in complaints for 2019, she thinks they will start to fall in coming years.

“I don’t think you’ll have as many incidents of a parent encountering a book and raising objections,” she said. “But we don’t think challenges will come to a halt.”


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