Late Night: “Captain Underpants” Most Challenged Book of the Year


The American Library Association has released its list of the most challenged books of the past year, and Fifty Shades of Grey was only number four on the list, beaten out by the charming and funny kid’s book series,  Captain Underpants, Sherman Alexie’s prize-winning “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

The ALA’s  Office for Intellectual Freedom defines a challenge as a

formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.

The first three books on the list were considered unsuitable for any age. Fifty Shades of Grey was challenged for its sexytime situations, and some libraries claimed the smutty trilogy was too poorly written to be stocked, according the Guardian. (And yet, Jackie Collins can be found on shelves…)

In the past decade the  top ten list list included works by Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Maurice Sendak, Judy Blume, J.D. Salinger, John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, and J.K. Rowlings. Nobel Laureate Morrison’s Beloved made the top ten list this year.

The 2012 list of most challenged books is 25% longer than 2011′s but not as extensive as during the last two decades of the 20th century.

Captain Underpants, challenged for

offensive language, unsuited for age group

is so much fun. The book follows the adventures of schoolkids as

they duel Dr. Diaper, tackle the talking toilets, clash with the crazy cafeteria ladies, plot against Professor Poopypants, and wrestle the wicked Wedgie Woman. Overflowing with humor, action, and that world-famous cheesy animation technique, Flip-O-Rama, this boxed collection will make kids laugh until soda comes out their noses.

No doubt the anti-authoritarian tone is what got folks all sandy-pants over Captain Underpants!

Author Dav Pilkey who based the books on his own elementary school experiences, issued this statement:

It’s pretty exciting to be on a list that frequently features Mark Twain, Harper Lee, and Maya Angelou. But I worry that some parents might see this list and discourage their kids from reading Captain Underpants, even though they have not had a chance to read the books themselves.

12 Responses to "Late Night: “Captain Underpants” Most Challenged Book of the Year"
CTuttle | Tuesday April 16, 2013 08:04 pm 1

*heh* Burn bras, not books…! ;-)

eCAHNomics | Tuesday April 16, 2013 08:16 pm 2
In response to CTuttle @ 1

Why burn ‘em. Just don’t wear ‘em.

Good evening CT & LD.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday April 16, 2013 08:25 pm 3

Top of night to you all!

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday April 16, 2013 08:27 pm 4
In response to eCAHNomics @ 2

I love lingerie! The key is getting fitted and have the right bra, they they are comfy. For years I was wearing too small a cup and too big a band size? Too much info?

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday April 16, 2013 08:28 pm 5

And I refuse to read Fifty Shade of Beige…zzzzzz…..

CTuttle | Tuesday April 16, 2013 08:36 pm 6
In response to eCAHNomics @ 2

*heh* I’d have to burn’em all, to get my buxomed, Better Half, to leave the house without one…! ;-)

CTuttle | Tuesday April 16, 2013 08:45 pm 7

Btw, Lisa, I’d first read Captain Underpants awhile ago, when my 12 yro Son, at the time, brought it home and said: ‘Dad, check out this cool comic book’…! ;-)

It is a laugh riot…!

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday April 16, 2013 08:49 pm 8
In response to CTuttle @ 7

it’s really cool! Love it. It is amazing to go though the ALA lists and see the same books year after year. This is the first time Captain Underpants has made #1 spot, but it’s been on before. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a regular on the top ten, though not this year.

waynec | Tuesday April 16, 2013 09:23 pm 9
In response to eCAHNomics @ 2

My granny is about 44DD. She really She needs to wear one!

RodL2 | Tuesday April 16, 2013 09:58 pm 10

Fifty Shades of Gray… Blah! The title should be Fifty Kinds of Gray. Badly written. It only got published for being written by a woman. Allegedly.

elisemattu | Tuesday April 16, 2013 10:22 pm 11

If you are fifty or older, are you prohibited from reading it? Reminds me of Garbage Patch kids, which were wickedly fun. I think someone at my son’s school made a stink about the kids coming to school with those cards back in the Eighties. There was concern and someone was afraid the silly kids in the card deck would influence bullying. But at least in my son’s class that didn’t happen.

Play yard humor is often underpants-related. “I see London – I see France – I see Darlene’s underpants!” Weird that some people have the lack of humor and too much time on their hands, so want to squash kids having fun.

RevBev | Tuesday April 16, 2013 10:28 pm 12
In response to elisemattu @ 11

I really think grade-school, 8yr old humor is the best;)
Gets me everytime.

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