Captain Underpants

Today begins Banned Book Week. From today’s Washington Times: “Banned Book Week opens with ‘Captain Underpants’ under fire” by Cheryl K. Chumley:

Banned Book Week has arrived — and librarians around the nation are asking readers to consult the list and make a selection.

It’s a quiet protest that the American Library Association has waged since 1982, an annual event to draw attention to the more than 11,300 books that have been challenged or outright banned and highlight First Amendment freedoms and oft-ridiculous literary criticisms.

And heading the list of most-challenged on the 2012 top 10 list: “Captain Underpants,” by Dav Pilkey — the entire series. Why? The language and content is seen by many as unsuitable for the targeted age group, the younger than 12 crowd.

Also on the 2012 list of top 10 banned or challenged books: “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie, for offensive language, sexually explicit scenes and racism, The Washington Post reported; “Thirteen Reasons Why,” by Jay Asher, for content that includes drugs, sex, alcohol and suicide; and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E.L. James, for offensive language and sexually explicit content.

Captain Underpants is a huge favorite of kids (including my grand-daughter). From Wikipedia:

Captain Underpants is a children’s novel series by American author and illustrator, Dav Pilkey. The series revolves around two fourth graders, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, and Captain Underpants, an aptly named superhero from one of George & Harold’s comic books, that accidentally becomes real when George and Harold hypnotize their megalomaniacal principal, Mr. Krupp. The book series includes 10 books and 3 spin-offs, and won a Disney Adventures Kids’ Choice Award in 2007. DreamWorks Animation acquired rights to the series to make an animated feature film adaptation.

… The Captain Underpants books were reported by the American Library Association to be the most frequently challenged books in the year 2012. Dav Pilkey also mentioned this in his website. According to the American Library Association, Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series was banned in some schools for insensitivity and being unsuited to age group, as well as encouraging children to disobey authority.

Well, there are the underpants, and the references to pee-pee, poopy-pants, boogers, tinkletrousers, toilets, diapers, and so on — plus of course the disrespect. Guaranteed to suit the target audience and alarm the authorities.

One Response to “Captain Underpants”

  1. Banned comics | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Captain Underpants, from a 9/23/13 story on the Banned Books of 2013, in which Captain Underpants was a big winner: there are the […]

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