Censors challenge 'Games' books for libraries

(L to R) Nathaniel Stampley (Mufasa), Tshidi Manye (Rafiki), and Jean Michelle Grier (Sarabi) in Disney's THE LION KING. The production is celebrating its 10th Anniversary on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre. © 2007, Disney. Photo by Joan Marcus.

YOU WOULD think that in this day and age - when Exxon/Mobil commercials tell us American children are dumber than paste - parents would be happy that their children were reading anything longer than a tweet, but for the second year in a row, Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy was among the most "challenged" books, as reported Sunday by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The ALA defines a challenge as "a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness."

Fortunately, Katniss took care of these lamebrains.

In last year's list, just the title book of the trilogy was in the top 10 and complaints included "sexually explicit" and "unsuited to age group and violence." For the new study, which also included Catching Fire and Mockingjay, the objections were more varied, and harsher, including: "Anti-ethnic; antifamily; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence."

These people do realize the book is fiction, right?

The most challenged works (the Games trilogy came in third) were Lauren Myracle's tween novels ttyl, ttfn, l8r and g8r, cited for being sexually explicit and "unsuited to age group." Kim Dong Hwa's The Color of Earth series was second, for "nudity," "sex education," and for being sexually explicit and unsuited to age group.

The library association reported 326 challenges, a slight drop from 348 the year before, and really a fraction more than nothing when you consider how many people go to the library.

The list also included classics like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World ("insensitivity, nudity, racism, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit") and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird ("offensive language, racism"), which is just plain crazy.

Among others cited were Cecily von Ziegesar's Gossip Girl series and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series. And let's not forget My Mom's Having a Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler ("nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group").

The biggest surprise was the absence of And Tango Makes Three, the gay-penguin picture story by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, which had topped the list four of the last five years.

Tattle library

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- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

Email gensleh@phillynews.com.