Please, take these off your shelves!

“Take these off your shelves” is the cry that many libraries in the US are hearing. Once again, the American Library association has released their list of top book complaints for last year and some of the entries might surprise you.


At the top of the list is not E.L. James‘  FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, like you might imagine, but a simple piece of juvenile fiction–Dav Pilkey‘s CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS series. The books are placed on the list when a parent, educator or member of the public makes a complaint about a book and asks to have it removed from the shelves. Typically, offensive language, racial discrimination and sexual themes are the most common reasons for complaints.  In the case of the Underpants books, one of the problems (along with offensive language) was that the series often depicts teachers as aggressive or sometimes even bullies. Pilkey says that he hopes it teaches children that adults in authority positions are not always good or right, and that he’s pleased to be in such good company (past authors on the list have included Mark Twain and Harper Lee).

Just because a book lodges complaints does not mean libraries pull them from their shelves.  They are simply noted, and it is up to the discretion of each library to keep them or not. What’s interesting is that usually books will stay only a year or so on the list, and then will be replaced with a new “scandalous”  book.  There is never a shortage of bad books.

You can read more about this year’s list right here. And no, we have no plans to pull any of the books from our shelves…even if you do find a guy in underwear on the cover of a book offensive.


Movie adaptations in the works

For many people, the book is often better than a movie adaptation, but it sure doesn’t stop us from going to see our favourite books on the big screen. While everyone is still talking about the recent movie The Help, based on the book by Kathryn Stockett, there are a few new movies in the works with a big fan base already.

For the kids….Dreamworks has just stated it will make a movie of the popular Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey. Yes, I know, thousands of 10 year old boys out there are THRILLED by this news, while their parents are probably actively trying to come up with ways to avoid taking them to see it. But with Dreamworks behind it, you know it’s bound to look great and be funny, too. You can visit the site and look under “news” for the full story.

And for the older set, a new adaptation of Stephen King’s epic novel The Stand, through Warner Bros…..directed by Ben Affleck.  Now, this books was made into a mini-series a while back (and didn’t get great reviews), so King has been reluctant to have it made into a movie. The large-scale themes will be difficult to scale down into two hours, I would think, so Affleck might want to consider going the Peter Jackson route with his trilogy, Lord of the Rings, and make it into two or more movies.  While Affleck has had some acclaim lately s a director (Gone, Baby, Gone), I worry about this movie. Will it be dark enough? Will it hit on all the right ideas? Will it be everything the book was?  We’ll have to wait and see.