Racism, insults, and support for “wealth inequality” are among the most common complaints against children’s books at U.K. libraries, according to an article in the Telegraph. Books featuring classic characters such as Babar and Tintin were accused of being racist, but the largest number of complaints were reserved for books by author David McKee.
Criticism centred on three books[:] Tusk Tusk, about a dispute between black and grey elephants, which parents said was racist; Denver, which is accused of supporting wealth inequality, because the title character is far richer than the others; and Two Monsters, which features two bickering characters.
Readers objected to the aggressive language of their insults, which include stupid peabrain, twit, dumbo, and ignoramus.
At the risk of rousing parental ire, Quillblog would like to suggest that anyone who considers “stupid peabrain” and “twit” egregiously aggressive probably hasn’t spent much time in a schoolyard lately.
Meanwhile, the Guardian‘s Alison Flood reports that Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series has achieved a dubious milestone, scoring fifth on the American Library Association’s list of most frequently challenged books:
This is the first time the Mormon author’s novels have appeared in the line-up “ J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman are both veterans of the list “ with complaints about both their level of sexual explicitness and their “religious viewpoint.”
“It is the books which are read frequently which are frequently challenged “ with all the hype around Twilight and the movies and the celebrities I was actually surprised Meyer’s books weren’t higher,” said Angela Maycock at the ALA’s office for intellectual freedom. Vampire books in general accumulated a host of complaints last year, Maycock said, with “the idea of vampires and other supernatural entities in opposition to certain religious viewpoints.” J.K. Rowling doesn’t make it into this year’s list but her Harry Potter books were the most challenged of the last decade, the ALA said today, with complaints over their “satanism” and “anti-family themes.”