Banned Books Week 2011: Top 10 most challenged books of 2010

Each year during Banned Books Week, the American Library Association tells us which titles available in public US libraries and schools received the most complaints or challenges during the previous year. In 2010, it seems, it was modern bestsellers – rather than classics from earlier decades – that provoked the most heat. Banned Books Week 2011 is being observed from Sept. 24 - Oct. 1.

1."And Tango Makes Three" by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

For the fifth year in a row, this true story of two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo who come together to raise a chick has topped the list of most challenged books. Charges made against "And Tango Makes Three" include "homosexuality, religious viewpoint and [unsuitability] to age group." The book is recommended for readers from preschool to grade 3.

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

Alexie's semi-autobiographical story of his struggles coming to terms with his own cultural identity is banned for "offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence." The book is recommended for readers in grades 7 through 10.

"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley

Banned in Ireland when it first appeared in 1932, Aldous Huxley's dystopian story of a passive society continues to provoke controversy today. In 2010 the book was challenged on the grounds of "insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit [material]."

"Crank" by Ellen Hopkins

Hopkins' book "Crank" tells the story of a teenage crystal meth addict. It has been challenged for its inclusion of "drugs, offensive language and sexually explicit" content.

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins' young adult series – which has dominated bestseller lists for many months – tells the story of a future where children are forced to compete in deadly games. Complaints registered against the books have included charges that they are "sexually explicit, unsuited for age group" and violent. They are considered young adult books.

"Lush" by Natasha Friend

Natasha Friend's novel about a teenager dealing with her father's alcoholism drew fire in 2010 for its inclusion of "drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit [material], and [content] unsuited for age group." The book is recommended for readers of middle school age.

"What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones

Sonya Sones' novel in verse about a teenage girl struggling through adolescence drew criticism for "sexism, sexually explicit [content]," and unsuitability for its recommended age group," which is listed as 12 and up.

"Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America" by Barbara Ehrenreich

Journalist Barbara Ehrenreich's non-fiction book about what it is like to try to live in America on minimum wage was challenged by readers offended by its inclusion of "drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint."

"Revolutionary Voices" edited by Amy Sonnie

The collection of stories written by young gays was challenged for its "homosexuality and sexually explicit" content.

"Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer's young adult publishing juggernaut about a girl who falls in love with a vampire is banned for "religious viewpoint and violence." Last year the books in the "Twilight" series were No. 5 on the "most challenged list."