The 10 Books People Most Wanted To Ban In 2013

by
Lauren Burgoon
The books people try most often to ban span from silly to sexy.

True, angry people rarely gather in the town square any more for a book burning, but that doesn't mean campaigns to ban books have ended.

To mark National Library Week, the American Library Association put out its list of 2013's "most challenged" books; that is, books people vigorously campaigned to ban from libraries, schools and other places because they take offense to something in the text.

While some of the subject matter is indeed heavy -- teen suicide, dystopian games of murder, erotica -- you might be surprised at some of the contenders for most challenged books.

The books are:

1. The Captain Underpants series, by Dav Pikey

(Source: Scholastic)

Two fourth-graders' imaginary comic book hero, Captain Underpants, comes to life and apparently real-life parents freak out over visible underwear and children being disobedient.

2. "The Bluest Eye," by Toni Morrison

(Source: Wikipedia Commons)

A young girl's struggle with racism during the Great Depression receives complaints for themes of molestation and incest.

3. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," by Sherman Alexie

(Source: Hachette Book Group)

A teen's life on an Native American reservation raises the ire of some people for its talk of alcoholism, poverty, bullying and use of profanity.

4. "Fifty Shades of Grey," by E.L. James

(Source: Random House)

It's called "mommy porn" for a reason. The book, which started out as "Twilight" fan fiction, is an international best-seller about sadomasochism. 

5. "The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins

(Source: Scholastic)

Teens fight for their lives and kill the competition during an annual televised game played to the death and organized by a ruthless government -- and a new literary hero emerges in Katniss Everdeen. 

6. "A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl," by Tanya Lee Stone

(Source: Random House)

It's a teen literary theme as old as time: young love. This time, a bad boy on the prowl is pursued by three different girls.

7. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," by Stephen Chobsky

(Source: Simon and Schuster)

The novel's themes teen mental illness, suicide and molestation landed it in hot water with some parents, but the book was popular enough to become a 2012 movie. 

8. "Looking for Alaska," by John Green

(Source: Penguin)

Teens at a boarding school navigate fraught relationships, smoke, drink, bully each other and apparently offend people along the way.

9. "Bone," by Jeff Smith

(Source: Scholastic)

The comic book series raises the hackles of parents who object to depictions of gambling and smoking. 

10. "Bless Me Ultima," by Rudolfo Anaya

In this Chicano literature classic, a young boy comes of age in the mid-20th century with the help of a protector, Ultima. Violence, profanity and sexual references helped land it on the most challenged list.