And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book about two male penguins raising an orphaned egg, has topped the list of 2008’s Most Frequently Challenged Books.

This is the third consecutive year that the book is at the top of the annual US list.

The list is comprised of books which are challenged by the public; a challenge being described by the American Library Association (ALA) as a “formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness”.

Justin Richardson’s and Peter Parnell’s award-winning children’s book was cited for being anti-family, pro-gay and anti-religion.

Other titles on the list included Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy for being violent and anti-religious, Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz for occult/satanistic themes and violence, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen for homosexuality and being unsuited to the age group and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini for offensive language and being sexually explicit, again unsuited to the age group.

“Books, magazines, and other reading materials should reflect the diverse views and the rich multicultural tapestry of our Nation,” said Caldwell Stone, deputy director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

“While not every book is right for each reader, every reader has the right to choose reading materials for themselves and their families and should be able to find those materials in libraries, classrooms, and bookstores. Our goal is to protect one of our most precious fundamental rights – our freedom to read.”

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