'Hunger Games' again sits on list of challenged books
By Hillel Italie, AP
April 10, 2012, 12:17 am TWN
NEW YORK--The more popular "The Hunger Games" trilogy becomes, the more reasons some parents and educators have found to question whether it belongs on library shelves.
For the second year in a row, Suzanne Collins' work was among the most "challenged" books, as reported Sunday by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. The association 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."
In last year's list, when just the title book of the trilogy was in the top 10, complaints included "sexually explicit" and "unsuited to age group and violence." Collins herself acknowledged her dystopian stories were not for everyone, telling The Associated Press at the time that she had heard "people were concerned about the level of violence in the books. That's not unreasonable. They are violent. It's a war trilogy."
For the new study, which also included "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay," the objections were more varied, and harsher, including "Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence."
Barbara Jones, director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, thinks anticipation for the "Hunger Games" film led to closer criticism of the books.
"For instance, there was complaining about the choice of actors for the film," Jones says. "You had people saying someone was dark-skinned in the book, but not in the film, or dark-skinned in the film and not in the book. In general, a lot more people were aware of the books and that led to more kinds of complaints."
Collins declined comment through spokeswoman Tracy van Straaten of publisher Scholastic Inc. Van Straaten said Scholastic also would have no comment.
Collins' million-selling novels ranked No. 3 on the association's list, rising from No. 5 last year.