Paternal Penguins Pique Parents, ALA’s Most Challenged Book

Paternal Penguins Pique Parents (story from the New York Times)

And Tango Makes Three, an award-winning children’s book based on the true story of two male penguins who reared a baby penguin stands atop the American Library Association’s annual list of works that drew the most complaints from parents, library patrons and others, The Associated Press reported. Published in 2005, the book by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, with illustrations by Henry Cole (Simon & Schuster), was named one of that year’s best by the association.

But some parents and educators complained that it advocated homosexuality. In all, the number of books challenged last year was 546, compared with 406 in 2005, but low in contrast to the figures recorded in the mid-1990s, when challenges exceeded 750 a year. The American Library Association defines a challenge as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.

Other books on the 2006 list included the Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye and her Pulitzer Prize-winning Beloved both challenged for language and sexual content. Judith Krug, director of the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said 30 books were banned last year.