Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Archive

April 20, 2014

'Captain Underpants' doesn't sit well with some

Potty humor in this kid's book earned it spot on 'most challenged' list

NEW YORK (AP) — The potty humor of "Captain Underpants" children's books and the mature exploration of race and family violence by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison in "The Bluest Eye" would seem to have little in common.

But among some parents, educators and other members of the general public who worry about what books are stocked at their local libraries, the works fall into the same category — they're just too offensive and should be restricted or removed from the shelves.

The American Library Association published its annual "State of the Libraries" report Sunday, which included its list of works most frequently "challenged" last year at schools and libraries.

Dav Pilkey's best-selling picture book series topped the list, just as his "Captain Underpants" did in 2012. The reasons cited included "offensive language" and material unsuited for its targeted age group.

"The Bluest Eye," Morrison's first novel, was runner-up, also criticized for language, along with violence and sexual content. Sherman Alexie's prize-winning "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," a perennial on the list, was No. 3, for reasons including drug references, sexual content and racism.

Pilkey said in a statement issued by his publisher, Scholastic Inc., that he found it surprising "that a series with no sex, no nudity, no drugs, no profanity and no more violence than a Superman cartoon has caused such an uproar.

"Of course, only a tiny percentage of adults are complaining. Kids love the books, and fortunately most parents and educators do, too," he said.

E L James' mega-selling, ultra-explicit "Fifty Shades of Grey" was No. 4, followed by the violent world of Suzanne Collins' blockbuster "The Hunger Games."

Others in the top 10 were Tanya Lee Stone's "A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl" (drugs, sex); John Green's "Looking for Alaska" (drugs, sex); Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (drugs, homosexuality); Rudolfo Anaya's "Bless Me, Ultima" (Satanism, offensive language, sex); and Jeff Smith's "Bone" series (political viewpoint, racism, violence).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller