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Why do gay penguins make people so mad? 'Tango' tops banned books list -- again.


It's just an orphan penguin with two daddies. Why can't people let it alone?

Once again, "And Tango Makes Three," the award-winning children's book, has topped the American Library Assn.'s list of most frequently challenged books, announced Monday. "And Tango Makes Three" tells the true story of two emperor penguins at New York's Central Park Zoo who hatched and parented a baby chick. What about the book has gotten feathers ruffled? The emperor penguins were both male.

Written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole, "And Tango Makes Three" has spent five years on the most-challenged list. For 2010 it again took the top spot. The library association writes that objections to the book include it being deemed "unsuited for age group." "Religious viewpoint" and "homosexuality" have also been cited as reasons for challenging the book.

Other books that appear on the 2010 list are "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins and Stephenie Meyer’s "Twilight." The complete top 10 -- and the chief objections to them -- is after the jump.

1. "And Tango Makes Three" by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

2. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

3. "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: Insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

4. "Crank" by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit

5. "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

6. "Lush" by Natasha Friend
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

7. "What My Mother Doesn’t Know" by Sonya Sones
Reasons: Sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

8. "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America" by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: Drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint

9. "Revolutionary Voices" edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: Homosexuality, sexually explicit

10. "Twilight" by  Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, violence


Penguins in trouble

Banned Books Week: It's back

-- Carolyn Kellogg


Comments () | Archives (32)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I'm sorry, is there some raunchy penguin sex going on in this book that we don't know about? Doubtful. Just the nutjobs at it again, trying to censor anything they disagree with.

Where was the sexually explicit stuff in Hunger Games? Seriously. There was sex in The Hunger Games?


Brave New World? Really now..... maybe I need to read it again, but isn't that an anti-drug novel? And Twilight? Are we seriously afraid of virginity promoting vampires?

Who are these people? Let's go back to "the free exchange of ideas" that makes our country great. Banning books sounds like something you would expect from Chairman Mao (don't tell me that was Ann Colture in drag??)

I'd been thinking of compiling a list of suggested reading for my kids--thanks. (Except for "Twilight"--that book bites.)

Animals are not homosexual. Animals are govern by instinct. They can neither explain or rationalize their action. The Homosexual community shows desperation in trying to equate penguins caring for a young pup to homosexuality.

Steve White: Yeah, you need to read Brave New World again.

10. "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Crap

This list has been very informative for me. Discrimination is okay sometimes.

"Children, just because a classmate is a different gender or ethnicity, doesn't mean that you guys can't be friends. However, if they are gay or come from gay parents, let them know that they don't have a place in our self-righteous, fear mongering, enemy obsessed world."

The penguins in "Tango" are not homosexual. Two male penguins cared for a chick. When the chick was grown, they selected female mates. Where is the gayness?

What? The Bible didn't make the list? It should have!

And for all the same reasons; sexually explicit, homosexuality, violent, drugs, religious viewpoint, innacurate, unsuited to (any) age group, insensitivity, racism, language, etc. etc.

The Bible MUST be removed. It advocates an unnatural act, Religion. "Of all the Species in Nature, Mankind commits the two most unnatural acts, wearing clothes and practicing religion." Ban the Bible.

Here's hoping the authors have benefited from the bigotry and sold beaucoups of books!

How about we allow kids to read books that deal with things like drugs, sex, sexuality, death, violence, politics, and religion. Since, you know, they're going to have to deal with those things eventually. And here's a really radical, crazy, revolutionary thought: Why don't we teach kids to question and think and seek the truth for themselves so they're prepared to handle these things?

I know, I know. I should never be allowed around children.

Why do gay penguins make people so mad? Because people that claim it's not natural don't want to be reminded that it is.

Ridiculous as kids of that age group may have adoptive parents of the same sex. Surely they deserve to feel less strange

Ah, I see the liberals, homosexual activists, and atheists are all bent out of shape again. Talking about banning the bible and pushing thier homosexual agenda. Why are you people so full of hate?

First it starts with gay penguins, next thing you know transexual goats are villified and after that dam burst cross dressing elephants are pushed out of the literary world. For shame on you raging anti-gay animalphobes!!

PS - I love my gay cat.

To all you Libs out there you who - incredibly - still don't get it... Stop pushing this gay agenda crap on 4-5 year olds. It has no place in elementary school.

Where is the gayness in "Tango Makes Three"? I can only assume that the two male penguin parents must have at some stage done something with each other's bottoms? No?

Seriously: far right fundo self-righteous judgmental outrage has gone far enough in the US. Time for the Land of the Free to be just that again - free. "Free", among other things, means the ability to offend others and the need for others to tolerate being offended. Re-read the Founding Fathers, send the fundos off to Iran or China where they live under the kind of repression they want to foist onto others, and remove all censorship from US life. And do the same in all other Western countries.

I've read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and I'm shocked and amazed that the book is on this list. It exposes the absolutely true environment and living conditions on reservations today, but it's "too offensive" to allow children to read? The only way any problems, including racism, homophobia, and economic inequality will get solved is to expose our children to them at an early age. The sooner children and adults alike realize that this treatment of human beings is wrong, the sooner someone will step up into the public eye and fight to change it.

Umm whomever wrote the comment about animals not being homosexual is incorrect. Please take a science class. Many different species exhibit homosexual characteristics and even stay with same sex partners for life.

Okay,does this book actually state that these penguins are gay? From what I understand this is based on a true story of 2 male penguins who worked together to raise a baby. The animals are not gay they are following a natural instinct to take care of the young. What is wrong with that? What is wrong with team work? I really am starting to believe that a lot of people in the country are nuts and have way to much time on there hands.

To all you Conservatives out there you who - incredibly - still don't get it... Stop pushing this heteronormative agenda crap on 4-5 year olds. It has no place in elementary school.

I don't remember there being any sexually explicit stuff in Hunger Games. Violence? Yes, definitely. To the max. Detailed scenes of death. But I don't remember any sexually explicit stuff. Twilight, it seems, would have been a better choice for that.

RE: The Homosexual community shows desperation in trying to equate penguins caring for a young pup to homosexuality.

Dear ignorant person, the "homosexual community" isn't the one complaining and banning this book, it's people like you.

ok i gotta ask what is the religious veiwpoint stuff in twilight? who objects?

These penguins are NOT gay - they are animals that the authors put human "feelings" on.

It is not realistic. Penguins do not adopt other babies and two males cannot produce an egg. That said, it is clear that it was written simply to promote an agenda. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that homosexuality naturally occurs in a small percentage of the population of most species...but that is not the same as promoting it as if it were on the same level and frequency as heterosexuality. It is still an anomoly...whether it occurs naturally or not. And as an anomoly, we should not be trying to push it as being equal by overrepresentation.

There is no need to write a childrens book about 2 male penguins caring for a chick unless you want to instill in a kids mind the acceptance of homosexuality as something normal. Lets not be naive and disingenuous about the real agendas here. These are books that should not be in libraries where kids can have access to them. Not everything is right in this world of ours. Some ideas are just plain wrong and corrupting! Violence, sex,drugs and bad habits should not be thrown at kids just because one day they might experience that. If anything we should be working on a world where kids can vision peace and progress, not one where they are destined to experience degeneracy and filth. As human beings we are what we think. The young developing mind should not be manipulated with the corrupt ideas of the vampires pushing hidden agendas.

Officially going to Barnes and Noble tomorrow to buy Tango for my six month old.

And in regard to Brave New World, yes, it is a very abrasive and totally sexist. The whole purpose is to show a world that we simply would not want to live in. Plus, it is an adult novel. I can think of a number of adult novels that are just as abrasive or "offensive", to name a few: A Clockwork Orange, The Naked and the Dead, Lolita, Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare, and he's got someone eating a "person pie"), Native Son, A Color Purple, etc etc etc. Each of these books are works of literature that are read and discussed by adults, not children. I dont know about you, but as an adult I don't need someone to tell me what to read and what not to.

Oh, and the problem with Ehrenrich's Nickel and Dimed...that it is "inaccurate." The book is her account of what happens when she tries to get by on minimum wage jobs. Apparently "inaccurate" means "not what I want to hear."

Trajan and Janine, apparently you are the kind of backwards, uneducated people that would promote book banning. Tango is a true story, it is well documented how the two penguins took care of the egg together, you can find news stories about it online. The fact that you are so bent on banning this book is a clear indication that it is you that is pushing an agenda--one of inequality and discrimination towards gays and lesbians. Homosexuality is not an anomoly, nor is it a reason to hate or look down upon a group of people. As much as you may not like it, people are starting to realize that and in a generation, people with hateful viewpoints like you will be the minority. You know what viewpoint I want to instill in my child, one of acceptance of other human beings for who they are.


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