'The Hunger Games' ignites the ALA's list of most challenged books
Many of the complaints leveled against "The Hunger Games" books focused on the film version directed by Gary Ross.
April 9th, 2012
06:27 PM ET

'The Hunger Games' ignites the ALA's list of most challenged books

By Stephan Lee, EW.com

(EW.com) - "The Hunger Games" movie may not have had trouble earning a PG-13 rating, but many parents and educators are wondering whether the best-selling book trilogy belongs on library shelves.

The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom released its annual list of most frequently challenged books of 2011 yesterday, and the increased popularity of Suzanne Collins' dystopian saga - in large part fueled by buzz surrounding the blockbuster film - drove the books higher on the list. In 2010, only the first novel cracked the top ten at number five. In 2011, all three books occupy the number three position, and the complaints have grown more varied: "anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence."

The ALA keeps track of challenges filed and counted 327 reported attempts to restrict or remove books from schools and libraries in 2011. The association 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."

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Filed under: EW.com • Issues • Policy • Reading
soundoff (21 Responses)
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    April 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
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    April 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  3. Flamespeak

    Keep in mind the most frequently challenged and banned books for over a decade was the 'Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark' series due to mentioning 'witchcraft, murder, cannibalism, and occult themes' in a children's book.

    The ALA also banned To Kill a Mockingbird from a lot of public schools because it contains 'excessive use of racial slurs'.

    April 21, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • the wiseguy

      With respect, the ALA has never banned a book – it only tried to keep track of those who would do so. I don't think the ALA tracks books which are banned or removed from school libraries but someone should. After all, we don't want our soon-to-be-adult students in local high schools to be exposed to books like "Mockingbird", or authors like Mark Twain (who was banned from some schools because of the use of the "n-word" in "Huckleberry Finn"). We must build barricades wherever we can to prevent exposure to anything other than what we consider "right" because that might lead us down the road to open-mindedness!

      April 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  4. master builder

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    April 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  5. Charles Montgomery Barnes

    My associate and I believe this book should never be in a library.
    It is is a new book and the library should only be for classic books
    and older types of media that no longer sell in stores.
    The free socialistic library system is an affront to capitalism.
    Booksellers are already in a weak market afflicted by internet piracy.
    We also feel you cannot truly enjoy a book without a $3.55 starbucks vanilla latte.
    Charles Montgomery Barnes and C. Clifford Noble

    April 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Clarissa

      Well thank you for deciding for the rest of the American public and also your customers. We really appreciate you making the decision of what accounts for "classic" You are aware that there has always been science fiction books, horror book, etc. Have you ever been in a library? guess what they have "made up stuff" everywhere! If you get rid of Hunger Games you have to get rid of everything else besides the scholarly research. Get real.

      April 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Eric

      Good choice of names. I like the Simpsons reference

      April 20, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  6. thelolmister

    The whole point of libraries is that they aren't censored, if you start to censor libraries then they will start to loose their value

    April 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  7. matty

    There's nothing in Hunger Games that is not also in the Bible.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  8. funny clips

    Helpful information. Lucky me I found your web site by chance, and I am shocked why this twist of fate didn't happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  9. Mary P

    I have read all three of the books in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy. My 11 yo and even my 9 yo twins have read them as well. These are really good books. They do depict some themes that should be discussed with an adult/parent/teacher, but otherwise are good reads that keep kids engaged in the story and the characters. I had my kids look up the term 'dystopia' and we discussed the various ways societies are configured. We have also discussed children, their role in society, child labor, labor laws, American History, violence- in general and against girls/women and children, gluttony, excess, class and caste, rebellion and revolution, just to name a few topics. These books can help open up some very interesting and yes, uncomfortable topics for students and help them become better and deeper thinkers.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:33 am |
  10. hi

    this book is amazing!!!!!!!
    why would anyone want to restrict it???????
    some people are too touchy!!!!!!!!!!

    April 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • hi

      the people use big word and made a big mistake

      April 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
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    April 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
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    April 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  13. Robert

    Many if not all of these complainers never read the books, they just read an ultra conservative website and marched off in step, the good little drones they surely are.

    April 11, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • rahjahk

      Odd, I'm told I'm ultra-conservative. Yet these books are on my buy and read list. So much for your bigoted assumption of drones!

      April 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • BlueTemplar

      Odd, I'm told I'm ultra-conservative. Yet these books are on my buy and read list. So much for your bigoted assumption of drones!

      April 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
      • Clarissa

        so you haven't actually read them?

        April 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  14. jj

    "anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence." Didn't see any of that in the books.

    April 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm |