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Thread: 'And Tango Makes Three' Tops Most Challenged List, Again‎

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default 'And Tango Makes Three' Tops Most Challenged List, Again‎


    A picture book about gay penguins in New York was named by the American Library Association as one of the nation’s most frequently challenged library books — for the fifth year in a row.
    And Tango Makes Three, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole, tells the true story of two male Emperor Penguins hatching and parenting a baby chick in New York City’s Central Park Zoo. The (very sweet and funny) book is the winner of such literary awards as the Gustavus Myer Outstanding Book Award, the Sheffield Children’s Book Award, and the ASPCA’s Henry Bergh Award; it was also named the American Library Association Notable Children’s Book for 2006.

    However, with all the praise comes scorn: since its release in 2005, there have been dozens of attempts by parents and “concerned community members” to have And Tango Makes Three removed from school and public library shelves. The book has won the dubious honor of being number one on the ALA’s Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books every year since its release, only dipping for a brief stint in the #2 spot in 2009. According to the ALA, opponents of the picture book assert that it is “unsuited for age group,” and cite “religious viewpoint” and “homosexuality” as their most common reasons for challenging the book.
    Also appearing on this year’s ALA Top Ten is Revolutionary Voices, the groundbreaking multicultural anthology of writing by young queer writers edited by Amy Sonnie. The anthology was targeted by members of Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project who called the book “pervasively vulgar, obscene, and inappropriate.” The removal of the anthology from both school and public libraries was particularly significant because the book is out of print, with copies selling for upwards of $50.


    Barbara Jones, the director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, speaks eloquently about why books such as And Tango Makes Three and Revolutionary Voices should remain on library shelves:
    “While we firmly support the right of every reader to choose or reject a book for themselves or their families, those objecting to a particular book should not be given the power to restrict other readers’ right to access and read that book… As members of a pluralistic and complex society, we must have free access to a diverse range of viewpoints on the human condition in order to foster critical thinking and understanding. We must protect one of the most precious of our fundamental rights – the freedom to read.”
    Gay Penguin Children’s Book Named Most Controversial by Library Association | Just Out

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