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Twilight Book Saga Among ‘Most Challenged’

5 minutes read

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight book series has a number of elements in common with J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter novels: both book franchises involve teens, mysteries, otherworldly creatures, and supernatural powers; both are worldwide bestsellers mostly aimed at young readers; and both are on the list of books most complained about by parents and educators.

Well, at least a certain ilk of parents and educators – those who believe that censorship has a place in what is supposed to be a democratic society.

Today, the American Library Association (ALA) released their annual report on the most “challenged books,” officially defined as “a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed or restricted because of content or appropriateness.”

Meyer’s Twilight novels, which include Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn, ranked No. 5 on the list. The criticisms revolved around the books’ sexual content, “religious viewpoint,” and that it’s “unsuited to [the targeted] age group.” (Those same people would probably have the highly successful features starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner rated NC-45.)

“Vampire novels have been a target for years and the Twilight books are so immensely popular that a lot of the concerns people have had about vampires are focused on her books,” remarked Barbara Jones, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, as reported in the Associated Press.

But Twilight fans, no matter how old or young, don’t despair. The Twilight books are in generally excellent company.

Among the other books found on the ALA’s top-ten “most challenged” list of 2009 are J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (sexual content, offensive language), Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (language, racism, unsuited to age group), Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (sexual content, language), and Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War (nudity, language, sexual content).

This year, Harry Potter wasn’t included among the top ten. Christians have gone after Rowlings’ wizards in the past, but perhaps they’ve decided to give the wizards a break in 2009, perhaps thinking that the Deathly Hallows in two parts and converted to 3D would be more than enough of a “challenge” for poor Harry and his spell-throwing buds.

Topping the American Library Association’s 2009 chart was Lauren Myracle’s IM book series, told in instant-message format. Reasons for the complaints: nudity, language, drug references, and more.

That was followed by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson’s And Tango Makes Three (last year’s No. 1 book), which tells the horrific story of two male penguins who adopt a baby. At No. 3 was Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, cited for drugs, suicide, homosexuality and being anti-family, among other goodies.

The scary part is that out of 460 formal complaints, 81 resulted in books being removed from libraries.

“Even though not every book will be right for every reader, the ability to read, speak, think and express ourselves freely are core American values,” Jones explains on the ALA site. “Protecting one of our most fundamental rights – the freedom to read – means respecting each other’s differences and the right of all people to choose for themselves what they and their families read.”

Also, here is the list of the most challenged books of the first decade of the 21st century. The Harry Potter books top the list, which also includes John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Robbie Harris’ It’s Perfectly Normal, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima (one of the greatest books I’ve ever read), Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Dr. Charles Silverstein’s The Joy of Gay Sex, and Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits.

If religious fanatics and assorted radical ideologues find those books “inappropriate,” that means in their pages they convey something that will open the minds and/or hearts of their readers. Can’t think of a better recommendation to add them all to your personal library.

Below is the list of the top-ten most challenged books of 2009.

1. ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality

3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

6. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

7. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

9. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Photo: Twilight (Summit Entertainment)

March 30: Stephenie Meyer, the author of the highly popular Twilight Saga books, has a new one coming out, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will release the book on June 5.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a novella told from the viewpoint of Bree, who happens to be a newborn vampire featured in Eclipse. The much-anticipated film version of the book, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard, Dakota Fanning, and others, will hit theaters in June. David Slade is the director of the third installment of the Twilight Saga series.

According to Meyer, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner was to have been included in The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide. But apparently Bree Tanner’s tale became much too long to fit into the guide.

The publisher says that for each book sold in the U.S. from the first printing of 1.5 million copies, one dollar will be donated to the American Red Cross International Response Fund. The Fund supports disaster relief efforts such as those currently taking place in Haiti and Chile.

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ernestine6891 -

Was this book any good?


LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

twilightluver -

i luv that book i wish it became a movie i would watch it on the premire on the red carpet lyk eclipse.wish every guy was lyk diego.bree was so lucky to have him.WISH HE DIDNT DIE!=( {good thing bree got her revenge & edward killeed riley & victoria}

pinksomsom -

I think that you guys at twilight should make the book into a movie. I read the and i would really love to see what she saw and how it all worked out.

Janny -

Just wondering if she wrote this book with a little more insight into the volturi for a reason!! They were hoping that Victoria and her minions were victorious in their fight against the Cullens!! Smart Bree was able to figure all this out and tried to tip off Edward (the mind reader) of this fact!! I really really hope that this means there will be a 5th novel in the saga!! I mean if she is denying her fans a chance to read Midnight Sun, then this would diminish the need we have for more her wonderful vampire stories!!

lauren -

i agree, i didn’t want diego to die either, and bree seemed so happy with him. i’m glad fred got away though.

Bree tanner fan -

did not want Diego to die — He sounds sooo sweet :(

fyjtr -

i love u martha

savanna -

i love the book alot

Ashley -

I read the book and it was wonderful!! I loved it. I read in one day (: Can’t wait for midnight sun though^-^

Eushy -

I’m reading it and i really like the story. At first i did’t realize who she was but now i understand everything!!! I love the story of Bree and Diego!

brooklyn -

hi this is brooklyn kirkland. and i love this bookit is so amasing are you going to make a movie for it are you going to finish midnight sun please tell me you are i will always read your books no matter what anyone elts ses whel bye……….love brooklyn

Soli -

Lets see I have much to say.. first I think part oof the beauty of Breaking Dawn was the happy ending.. I mean Steph can only write so many books before the story will finally just cease to progress so I wouldnt mind the story itself ending there. As for the different points of views I loved what I read of Midnight Sun though I was sad that it wasnt finished or published because it wouldve been worth the wait so Im sorry Stephanie that it went down the way it did but if you ever get over it and finish the book America will love it.. if not than thanks for the lil you did write it was very nice.. As for Bree’s story I will read it when I finish the novel Im working at.. Even though we all know how the story ends (and I am guilty of reading the last line just to check) Stephanie Meyer is brilliant so if she wrote it than there is sure to be a story there and a dash of magic.. I loved the twilight series it made me laugh and cry, it broke my heart and made me fall in love.. I will read anything she writes because I love books that make me feel so yea keep writing steph and ill keep reading thx

T -

i liked it it was fantastic but there is one small glitch i dont like

T -

omg i read it but deigo dies uhhh

Caylee -

I love this book!!
Starting reading it for free at provided for me by After reading the first 5 pages I was like I have to get this book. First chance I got, I went to Walmart and bought it. I have been reading it ever since, great read. Shows a whole other side of the vampire world, completly different from the Cullens verison.

janice -

i love the book great job hope stephine myer rights a fithe twilight book i love twilight

Jennifer -

A book from Bree’s point of view, to me, seems…
I would love Edward’s version of New Moon — Jacob’s version wouldn’t be as good, cause u basically know the full story !
I so want to know what Edward got up to !

Johnathon -

I loved the short second life of bre tanner I almost cried and I love your work stephine and it would be nice to hear what happened to Fred. I love how this book made me Scared, happy, sad and angry.

I love the twist with the Vulturi too. And I wish Bre had of lived.

admin -

It’s already out. I believe it’s also available online for free.
Check out:

anonymous -

when does it come out?! (:

Kayla -

I want to get this one! No money though…

Becky -

Well it was great! Now I am waiting for a book about Fred’s adventures!

sam -

I think that it sounds pretty interesting although definatly not what I expected her next book to be. She should write a book about Renesme I think…and her love with Jacob..I think that would be a really great book.

Anne Ming -

This book is so sad and i love it!!!

Tara -

I think this will be another awesome book by Stephanie, It will give more insight of what usually goes on inside a newborns head. I wish she would finish midnight sun, its a must need! It would be cool to have short stories from the view points of all the cullen family, before they each became a vampire.

Zarina -

Bree is quite a small character but I’m willing to give it a go, I mean come on, Stephenie did write Twilight. I have no doubt it wont be good. It should be interesting considering we didn’t get first hand insight in a newborn’s head.


charelag -

It offers alot of insight into the eclipse book from another view. Loved the book. but please finish Midnight Sun and a book from Jacobs view. Please.

Amber -

Well it sounds good but I really wanted there to be another one with Bella and Edwards story-
and i have had an idea for another book- Renesmee when she grows up and gets with Jacob xx

SHara -

I think this book will be good no matter how small a character Bree is. Yes, Brittany, she screams and dies (basically) in Eclipse, but her story will offer insight into what was going on with the newborns that Victoria created. Like, when one was in Bella’s house. We gather he was there to get her scent, but I mean, it will still tell us more about what was going on with the newborns at the time. Just my thoughts…

Jenny -

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is fantastic!

Merry -

I love all the books so I am positive this will be well-written and completely consuming. As for Midnight Sun, please finish. Also for Jacob’s side of New Moon, do that book too. Thank you!

Madison B -

I can’t wait to read it. I think it will be a amazing book just likÉ the rest of hers

Walt Hartley -

It doesn’t surprise me at all that ‘Catcher in the Rye’ is on the list of top ten challenged books of 2009. The controversy over the book has been going on since its first publication in 1951. In spite of the mixed reactions, the book is a classic as it deals with the cultural and social changes that were taking place at that point in history.

The novel speaks of the alienation and isolation common among the restless post-war generation. The character of Holden Caulfield is often seen as a role model of those disgusted with the pretense and artificiality – or `phoniness’ of the world around them.

TwiBecca -

Twilight Saga is SEXUALLY EXPLICIT? In what stretch of the imagination is there any part of that book series that is sexually explicit?

Again, EXPLICIT?!?!?!?

brittany -

It sounds ok but I don’t know if I’ll like it too much. Bree is a pretty minor character I mean she screams then dies. I’d much rather read midnight sun but since that won’t happen I guess I’ll check it out.


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