Pop quiz, homos! Which of the following quotes is so monumentally offensive that parents demanded the book from whence it came be banned from their children’s libraries in 2012?
If you guessed Quote A, you are correct — but barely! Yesterday, the American Library Association released its annual list of Most Challenged Books, and 50 Shades of Grey juuuust edged out And Tango Makes Three — a picture book about two adorable male penguins who love each other and want to adopt a baby penguin to make their family complete — in 2012’s top ten countdown. Grey came it an #4, while Tango came in at #5. Poor ol’ Roy and Silo. Last year, for the first time in the book’s history, the illustrated gay penguins didn’t make the list at all. (From 2006 to 2008, they took the number one spot as the Most Challenged Book of the year.) But in 2012, they were back, caring for their little egg and naming their little chick “Tango” and teaching it to sing and cuddling it up close to keep it warm. What a couple of cartoon assholes!
Even more challenged than And Tango Makes Three was Sherman Alexie‘s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a young adult novel that has the audacity to call gay people “magical.” See for yourself:
And Tango Makes Three and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian were the only pro-gay books to make the list this year. The top spot went to the children’s book series Captain Underpants, which features a hypnotized elementary school principal who saves the world while wearing only underpants, thanks to two fourth grade pranksters. Kind of like Wonder Woman’s costume, but less awesome.
You can see the full list of Most Challenged Books at ALA’s official website.