Twilight: Challenged Books of 2009 Top 5

April 15, 2010

The ALA’s Top 5 most complained about books in 2009 now included the hugely popular vampire series, Twilight. Challenged books are novels objected to by parents and teachers across the nation via written complaints. The vampire series came in 5th in the 2009 rankings. Check out the full story, as well as pictures and video below!

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The four-part novel series has partially been made into wildly successful motion pictures, and draws its audience largely from teen women. Parents and teachers have objected to the book for its content, but also reflect a general unease about supernatural stories.

Barbara Jones, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom says of the rankings:

“Vampire novels have been a target for years and the Twilight books are so immensely popular that a lot of the concerns people have had about vampires are focused on her books,”

The ALA is hesitant to remove any novel from its libraries, even with written complaints (460 were recorded in 2009).

“Even though not every book will be right for every reader, the ability to read, speak, think and express ourselves freely are core American values” said Jones.

Twilight challenged books of a similar ‘inappropriate’ nature for a position in the Top 5. First place went to Lauren Myracle’s “ttyl” series, novels written entirely in instant message format, and questioned for their nudity, language and drug references. No comment as to whether they are animated, but why else would someone complain about nudity in a novel?

In second “A Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell is a story about two male penguins that adopt a child together. Third, Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” was cited for a range of offenses from drugs to homosexuality.

Fourth, amazingly, was “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee! That used to be part of a school’s reading curriculum. For years the list had featured J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series in the top 5, similarly for its occult theme and anti-family values. But its position has now been taken over by Twilight.

Challenged books in the Top 5 List often feature supernatural content. Meyer’s vampire series proves to be the new target of this perennial unease toward that subject material.

Do you think America will ever get comfortable with supernatural content in their novels? Voice your opinion in the comment section!

Also, check out the pictures and video below!

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Photos: M. Barraza, Nikki Nelson

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