The Hunger Games books were among the most challenged of 2011, according to the American Library Association. (Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons/michi003)
Suzanne Collins' trilogy, which is about a post-apocalyptic world in which young people are forced to fight each other to the death in an annual tournament, is part of an eclectic mix of reads listed by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, which releases an annual list of the top 10 most challenged books of the year.
A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness, the ALA says on its website. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. We estimate that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported. Therefore, we do not claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges.
Topping the list was young adult author Lauren Myracle's Internet Girls series, which also topped the list in 2009. Also on the list was the children's illustrated book My Mom's Having a Baby! by Dori Hillestad Butler and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which was first published in 1932.
One book that was dethroned from the list after making it for five years in a row was the children's illustrated book And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Parnell and Richardson's book is based on the true story of two male penguins in New York City's Central Park Zoo who exhibited mate behavior, hatched an egg and raised the resulting female baby chick. The book topped the ALA's most challenged list in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. It came in second place in 2009.
It's timely to see Collins' entire trilogy make the list (only the first book made it last year). In March, The Hunger Games movie adaptation was released to overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and fans alike. The movie, which stars actress Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, X-Men: First Class), has grossed more than $400 million worldwide since its Mar. 23 release, according to Box Office Mojo. The books and film have been met with trepidation by those who perceive the material as being excessively violent. The film is rated PG-13 in the U.S.
Here is the entire ALA list of the most challenged books of 2011:
1. Internet Girls series by Lauren Myracle
2. The Color of Earth series by Kim Dong Hwa
3. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
4. My Mom's Having A Baby! by Dori Hillestad Butler
5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
6. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
8. What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
9. Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar
10. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee