'Fifty Shades of Grey' Beaten by 'Captain Underpants' as Most Challenged Book
EL James' sexually explicit book wasn't as highly contested as a children's graphic novel about a caped crusader who fights crime in his underwear.
The erotic romance book Fifty Shades of Grey is infamous for its scenes involving bondage, sadism and masochism, but the most troublesome literary content in 2013 was language like pee-pee, poopy, wedgie and Dr. Diaper.
Those are some of the favorite words in the children's fiction book The Adventures of Captain Underpants, which was named the most frequently challenged book for the second consecutive year by the American Library Association.
The graphic novel, geared for children in the 7- to 10-years-old range and written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey, features two fourth-graders who create a comic book about their imagined superhero — who prefers not to wear pants. The book promises "action, thrills and laffs," but it was called into question due to its supposed offensive language, violence and unsuitability for its target age group.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie held the second and third spots, respectively, for the sins of offensive language, sexual explicitness and drugs.
Rounding out the list were Fifty Shades, which held steady in fourth place, beating John Green's Looking for Alaska; Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games (for its alleged religious viewpoint); and Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, back on the list after four years. Jeff Smith's classic cartoon-style graphic novel series Bone held the 10th spot for its violence and alledged racism.
The ALA considered 307 formal, written complaints in its tally, and estimates that for every reported challenge, there are four or five that go unreported.
To see the complete list of the top 10 challenged books and previous lists, check out the ALA's website here.