Twilight Saga on Challenged Book List

twilight-booksAccording to the AP, the Twilight books have landed on this years list of most challenged books from the American Library Association. Other books on the list include yearly repeats such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, and Huck Finn. Twilight in the number 5 position in regards to the number of challenges lobbied.

According to the AP:

“Meyer’s multimillion-selling “Twilight” series was ranked No. 5 on the annual report of “challenged books” released Wednesday by the American Library Association. Meyer’s stories of vampires and teen romance have been criticized for sexual content; a library association official also thinks that the “Twilight” series reflects general unease about supernatural stories.

“Vampire novels have been a target for years and the `Twilight’ books are so immensely popular that a lot of the concerns people have had about vampires are focused on her books,” says Barbara Jones, director of the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.”

The number of books (reported)in 2009 was 60, which is down from 513 in 2008. All totaled, 81 books were actually removed.


  1. WHAT?!?!? That’s absurd. It’s more love story than vampire story and what sexual content there is occurs AFTER they get married.

  2. Olympic Coven says

    Agreed. Some folks gotta complain about something even if they aren’t familiar with it. If anything, Edward is absurdly moral when it is concerning Bella’s virginity. After all, they had stronger morals back in 1918.

  3. That’s ridiculous!!
    It’s a great series & story line…ugh.

  4. Concerns people have about Vampires? I think we all actually know that Vampires aren’t real, don’t we? I’m not about to go looking for one.
    Anyhow, this is a bit stupid, really. It’s not a Vampire story, it’s a love story, all the way. It’s not like a horror book or anything.
    What is wrong with the world? Seriously.

  5. This is ridiculous. Sexual content? Edward and Bella were insanely responsible in the books, and what better message than Edward’s insistence on staying pure until marriage. Just goes to show that people are never satisfied.

  6. RobsLtlSecret says

    Wow – are people in this world so bored that they have to attack books that have actually lead kids who would not normally read to read books that are hundreds of pages long…Not to mention that the stories main focus is a love that is restrained there is absolutely no sexual content until after Edward and Bella are married and then it is fleeting not detailed. It is a love story not a vampire/werwolf story..Leave the books along and let kids read…..

  7. Sexual Content? Really? These are some of the cleanest books I have read from the YA section. There is definitly sexual tension and passion, but it was never vulgar. I’ve always thought that Stephenie handled the whole sex issue between Edward and Bella with style and grace. I kind of pictured it like an old movie where the scene fades to black, but you know what the couple is up too! 🙂 But I don’t care they are challenged or not. I will continue to re-read them whenever the mood strikes and I will continue to recommend them. I will also fight for them and anyones right to read them!

  8. OMG! I do not understand why they have this list in the first place. I have read a ton of YA book and TW is tamer in language, sex then most. I am a 29 year old mother so that has to count for something.

  9. Why can’t people see the books for what they are? A love story not a vampire story :$

    Whoever thinks that The Twilight Saga is sexually loaded needs to read all the books again, I agree there is a lot sexual tension and yearning, but that’s life… but sexual content? Like, really? **rollseyes**

  10. Well, then they are in good company, Catchers in the Rye & To Kill a Mockingbird are great pieces of american literature. Just imagine if people got there wish & banded those books. Great pieces of American literature would have ben lost forever. They are just books, so just go find something worth worrying about.

  11. Challenging Twilight Saga for sexually explicit content? It makes me wonder if they actually read the books. Just like the Harry Potter series were certain “Christians” got it on the “Banned” book list, and most of those NEVER read the books.
    I tried to look further into this, as it just seems silly that a book that abstanes from sexual innercourse, gets challenged for its sexual content. While the Saga certainly has its fair share of implications, it doesn’t bite…per day. All in all, lists like these are just silly and detour no one from reading them, but those of whom are already dead set, not to.

  12. This makes me so mad that I cant even comment on it….so i wont. My choice of words would not be very nice at the moment. Get a clue and a life and etc….:(

    • Michelle Cullen says

      And just to add to this comment, I want to see the “proof of why” they have to put these books on the “challenge List”. I wonder too if they have even read these books? I have read many YA books that have had plenty of nasty launguage and sex in them. How could this happen to the Twilight Saga? It was wonderfuly written with grace and style and Stephenie was very courteous and sweet with her values and choice of words for all ages when writing these novels all the way through from beginning to end. I am a very unhappy person to have heard of this right about now!

    • I just had another thought( since this whole thing is wrecking my day and I cant get it off of my mind) As many people who have already purchased these books and read them over and over again, why NOW is this the time for this to suddenly happen? They could never ever pry my fingers away from these novels..not ever. I was never really big on books but now I am and I give Stepenie credit for it. She opened a door for me in the book world and I love it.

  13. taise olveira says

    Isso é uma ignorância desse povo.
    Onde tem conteúdo sexual?
    Isso é Ridículo esse povo não tem mais o que inventa para tentar baixa a alta estima de todos os fãs e da Meyer.

  14. Team Switzerland says

    More free press for Stephenie!

  15. Why is To Kill a Mockingbird on that list? I think the Harry Potter books were also on that list because its ties to witchcraft. So people can be so narrow-minded.

  16. Twilibrarian says

    I am a high school librarian. As is the case with many challenged books, the person(s) making the challenge have not read the books. A parent only has the right to control what is read by his/her own children. They do not have the right to CENSOR that which other children read. Many challenged books are targeted by religious groups based on their particular religious tenets.

    To think that a book series, written by a literature graduate from Brigham Young University and a Mormon could in any way be interpreted as evil, satanic, or sexually explicit is ludacrous. Just because the Cullens don’t line the pews at Forks United Church of Religious Intolerance on Sunday mornings doesn’t mean these books are bad!

    These novels teach family values, loyalty, sacrifice, love, chastity, tolerance, and acceptance. As an educator, I have asked students to “read between the lines.” What does this saga teach us about these qualities? I have used the “vampire” image to mean anything “different,” whether it is racial, gender, HIV status, anything that can help get ascross the point of accepting that which is foreign.

    On the surface, it is a love story, plain and simple. I, for one, will defend a person’s right to read ANYTHING, including the Twilight Saga. I am a librarian. I am bound bt the Students’ Bill of Rights to make certain this happens.

    • Wow Twilibrarian,
      Nicely said. I wish all librarians were as opened minded as you while I was growing up. I am 44 yo and happen to love the series. First and foremost, it is a love story. Even my husband said that when he first saw Twilight. I hate it when people don’t read the book they are targeting or degrading. Then I view you as ignorant, don’t comment unless you have read. Then you can comment. Thank you for shaping our young minds to be so open.

    • Excellent comment, Twilibrarian. I’d just like to add that I notice a great deal of sexist opinions in complaints about Twilight, because people assume that teen girls are the main/only readers, and that they will freak out/obsess/jump off cliffs whenever they like some boy who doesn’t notice them. I don’t remember people worrying about boys in this same context, say, fears of boys running away from home when Luke or Anakin Skywalker ran off with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Further, the whole presumption that girls can’t distinguish between reality and heightened dramatic events is ridiculous. We’ve had Romeo and Juliet as the basis of the high school English curriculum for decades, and I haven’t heard of any girl-gets-dumped-commits-suicide-after-reading-Romeo-and-Juliet news story. Twilibrarian is right, these books offer excellent and insightful values and morals, which is a key element of their appeal. To Twilibrarian and other fans, I highly recommend John Granger’s “Spotlight” text on the meaning of Twilight, which looks at these issues in greater depth from a literary perspective (he was the original defender of Harry Potter; more at Thanks again, Twilibrarian!

      • I want to cosign this.
        I feel really offended by the implications of the haters that girls (and women) need to be censored over their things they enjoy because clearly weak minded females cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy and that feminism is based on a lie and in reality a girl that had grown up on a feminist society only needs a set of books to get “corrupted” by patriarchal society and destroy all what feminism fought for.
        Really no one usually complains about Ian Fleming having James Bond living men fantasies as the super spy that sleeps with beautiful women with no strings attached and how that will ruin men’s perspective on women but the hell break lose if not all female characters are not kicking ass and bitching at men, sleep around and possibly have lesbians tendencies to show how strong and feminist they are.
        Really sexist and dangerous since all this Moral Guardians are just teaching people that their fantasies are dangerous and wiser people should guide them to healthy things to enjoy withing their minds. The death of creativity IMO.

  17. Sexual content?! Where are those versions of Twilight and where I could get them?! 😉

    Maybe they read the fan fics with lemons on them and though they were the real deal…Oh well at least she is in good company.

    I pity anyone that picks up the books to read the sexual content, they will be severely dissapointed

  18. Hahahahahaha this makes me laugh really hard. If anything people should be encouraged to read these books since the characters don’t have sex until they are married and speaking as a nineteen year old who is waiting to have sex this book has definitely reinforced my decision to wait hahahah

  19. Freyer Caffarel says

    Ridiculous! These people need to get a life! Apparently they have way too much time on their hands.

  20. Have any of those people read Catcher and the Rye?!?!??! HELLLOOOOOO I’m glad that it’s getting recognition as a classic book but people will take anything and twist it. You have the Vampire Diaries that has sex and drugs but hey that’s ok.

  21. I’m a school librarian, and this is an absurdity. There’s always someone somewhere just waiting for something to challenge in the literature world. Where are they when all these trashy movies come out?? You never hear from them.

    When people try and tell me what I CAN and CANNOT read, I start to get very, very angry. This is America. If you don’t want to read, then DON’T. But you have NO right to deny other free citizens of this country the freedom to read!

  22. IMO…. I’d me more inclined to read a book on the “naughty” list because it makes me curious on why they are banned. I have read Twilight almost 10 times. The only part that they could possibly cast judgement on is when Bella says that Edward looks good naked…but they are MARRIED…!!!

  23. Just a thought…..
    If Twilight ranked #5 on the list due to “sexual content” and how it “reflects general unease about supernatural stories”, what books are #’s 4-1 about??

  24. BlkTgrRdRse says

    …um…concerns about vampires? *twitch* That’s funny…last I checked, only very small children thought they were real. I agree strongly with everyone else who says there are worse YA books out there. I mean, I’m eighteen and the number of detailed self-mutilations, eating disorders and sexual content I’ve seen in YA books in the past ten years is uncountable at this point.

    The ‘sexual content’ was implied, what, twice? How protective are we going to get of our children? I’m not so sure my sex-ed class in 5th grade wasn’t more explicit…

  25. You have to remember people… that the LESSERS of our society, will complain about anything and everything. Twilight is popular, so they know people will listen to their complaints (no matter how petty) simply because of the popularity factor.

  26. It’s in good company. (Really folks, Winnie the Pooh and Junie B Jones??? Many of these are laughable)

    Most challenged classics (a sampling of some more recognized titles)
    1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    9. 1984 by George Orwell
    12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    13. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
    17. Animal Farm by George Orwell
    20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
    26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
    29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
    31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    32. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
    40. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
    41. Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
    71. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    72. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    85. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

    Most challenged 2000-2009 (a sampling of well known titles)

    1 Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
    3 The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    5 Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    6 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    8 His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
    13 Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    14 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    15 The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    16 Forever, by Judy Blume
    17 The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
    18 Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
    19 Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    21 To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    22 Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    23 The Giver, by Lois Lowry
    24 In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
    25 Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
    26 Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    27 My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
    28 Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
    43 Blubber, by Judy Blume
    46 Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
    47 The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard
    49 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
    51 Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
    59 Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
    60 Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
    61 Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
    62 The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
    64 Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
    66 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
    67 A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
    71 Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
    73 What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
    74 The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
    75 Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
    87 Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
    90 A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
    91 Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Graighead George
    94 Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
    99 Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume

  27. twiightgirl68 says


    • twiightgirl68 says

      I feel the need to say more , I am a 41 year young mother who is a conservative Christian who has been homeschooling for 17 years. I attend church every Sunday and teach classes there too. At first my daughter , then 16 approached me about the books and I said NO !! Because when one thinks of vampires you think of blood, gore and sex! My daughter continued to “gently nudge” me into reading first before judging ,(where did she get that wisdom, LOL ?) So I did and of course the rest is history , I just couldn’t out it down ! LOL ! It was well written and a clean read ! I could honestly read this with God by my side (Oh yea, He already is) and not feel “sinfull”. Geesh , these people really do need to get an education and a life , TWILIGHT is the least of our problems concerning America’s young people ! The Cullens are very welcomed in our Christian home and school !! LONG LIVE TWILIGHT!! (^_^)

      • I agree with your post, twiightgirl68. I share your religious convictions and also homeschool my girls. When I hadn’t read them, I thought they were probably horror books, and then I saw the movie and read the books and I can honestly say that not only is there nothing that offends me, but there are so many lessons and opportunities for positive discussion on many levels.

        I cannot imagine finding anything that would seriously concern me in these books. My guess is that 99% of the people who are complaining about Twilight are people who have never opened one of the books.

        And if the books on that list are anything to go by, then SM should be flattered. Some of those are my favorite classic novels!

  28. As a Christian myself and a picky reader, I have to put in my two cents. Having looked through the lists of challenged books over the years, I won’t deny that there are several that I myself would never read. Some of them contain themes that I don’t approve of or content that I don’t care to read. However, I would never suggest that no one be allowed to read the books just because I feel that they’re immoral.
    People need to exercise a little more tolerance-a book doesn’t need to be banned for all if its content isn’t ideal, and this banned book list is unnecessary. Assign reading however you wish-just always have an alternate assignment ready.
    On a side note: Junie B. Jones? Honestly? What in the world could someone find in that?

  29. Does anyone else see the irony here? Hollywood & the media are constantly making fun of the TW Saga for being too clean & not having enough sex in them. They are always asking questions like, “Why do you think these books/films are really so popular?” They just don’t get it. And now it’s on this list? I’m rolling my eyes, shaking my head, & chuckling just a little bit. Seriously? Seriously… Just goes to show that people really do need something to target & complain about

  30. My sister-in-law will not let her 8th grader read Twilight because she says she doesn’t like the “themes” of the books! My response: “Uh…hello? It’s FICTION! Vampires don’t exist! You DO know that, don’t you?”

    Needless to say, I’m not my sister-in-law’s favorite relative! LOL

    People who don’t like the books, nine times out of ten, have NEVER even read them!!!

    • vampbball says

      Eh I don’t know. If I’m honest, I’m kind of hoping my daughter won’t want to read them until she’s well into her teen years. The vampire thing doesn’t bother me, but the teen boy in bedroom, withholding information from her father, and the final choice to become predator of humans by ending her human life (and severing ties with her mother), these aren’t themes that I especially embrace. I accept them as part of the Twilight story, but I can see a parent being squeamish.

      (I do not condone censorship in public libraries, however!)

      • Come on…a preteen/teenager is certainly old enough to know that a vampire is never going to fall in love with her. She’s old enough to know that becoming immortal is NOT one of her career choices! That is…unless she’s been living under a rock since she’s been born.

        We must give kids credit for having some common sense and simply wanting to indulge themselves in some great fantasy! That’s what reading FICTION is! An escape from reality!

      • Twilibrarian says

        I admire your honesty in pointing out some issues you do not want your child to be exposed to until you deem she’s ready. As I said in an earlier post, that is your right as a parent, to control what your child, and ONLY your child reads. I wish there were more parents who reacted in this manner.

        There have been some comments from my earlier post about me beining an open-minded librarian. I truly believe in giving children the opportunity to make choices based on all the information. That, my friends, allows our youth to make informed decisions. BTW: this librarian is 59, and has been fighting for kids’ right to read for over 25 years.

        • I’m with you Twibrarian! I’m a 49 year old librarian who constantly fights that battle with over zealous parents who not only want to censor what THEIR child reads (which is their right), but also what the entire SCHOOL should read (which is NOT their right!). My library is a very vibrant place with kids checking out books constantly. I choose titles that interest them. And are some of them controversial?? Of course! A library full of The Bobbsey Twins is NOT feasible these days. And students want to read controversy. They want to think about it, form their own opinions about it. I have nearly ALL of the above mentioned challenged titles on my library shelves (excluding the adult fiction which is too difficult of a reading level for my students). And I teach a unit on this very subject. Breaking Dawn is mentioned in my unit because it has been challenged in our own state. Some parents objected to Bella drinking blood out of a cup and saw that as too harsh for middle students to read. Uhm…have they seen the movies their kids sneak into on the weekends??

          OTB (Obsessedtwibrarian)

  31. These people have too much time on their hands and put
    their energy in the wrong direction. How many charities could use their time, instead of this nonsense.

  32. How is this a “challenged” book? I’ve books with more explicit language and very described sex scenes. They don’t even have sex until they’re married and Stephenie Meyer doesn’t describe it. It’s not a vampire story it’s a love story. And it’s also purely fiction. HGR said The Vampire Diaries has a lot of sex and drug it’s true-I’ve only seen the show and it has that. It also has a lot of blood and gore. I’ve also read some of these and some belong here but some of it is just plain silly. I’ve read The Lovely Bones it involves rape and murder. I’ve also read and seen the movie-starring Kristen Stewart- Speak and the main character Melinda Sorridino was raped. From those books only the Twilight Saga doesn’t belong on this list. The people who made this list probably didn’t read Twilight.

    • Twilibrarian says

      Have you ever read Omar Tyree’s fiction? Even the librarian in me winces at the explicit sex and language. However, it is on the shelves at Niagara Falls High School!

      • No I haven’t. I read Speak and The Lovely Bones because my 18 year old sister had them lying around. I only read these because I was bored(in my town you read these books in high school). Also because I’m an advanced reader. I’m only eleven and I’ve read the Twilight Saga multiple times. I started The Princess Diaries in third grade(that is sort of an iffy series it could be on this list).

  33. Luisa Ardila says

    One more reason why I love Twihards. We know what we’re talking about, we are open minded, smart, mature, DIVERSE (meaning we are not all 9 years old girls), charitable and understanding–among other virtuous qualities. Let ’em all rot in their ignorance while we enjoy Stephenie’s gift to human kind. I’m a 19 year old college student and I am proud of my (healthy) Twilight obsession, no matter what they say.

  34. Luisa Ardila says
    • Twilibrarian says

      Not at all! The American Library Association is well aware of the Twilight impact. Anything that gets kids reading is good. So, order those Twilight posters.

    • The ALA isn’t challenging the series! It just gathers the data of the books most frequently challenged, “For nearly 20 years, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has collected reports on book challenges. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed or restricted because of content or appropriateness. In 2009, OIF received 460 reports on efforts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves” (ALA website). I’m sure, just as the other librarians who have commented here, most librarians encourage the freedom of choice when it comes to reading. Of course parents should have a say in what their kids read, however, I’m sure that if most of them read the ‘Twilight’ series they would not be so quick to bring forth a challenge against it! Also, I think it’s CRAZY that one of the challenges is “Unsuited to Age Group” these are YA books! I mean of course adults can love them too, (as I do!) but, come on these are the perfect books for young adults. They evoke all those crazy, mixed feelings of first loves and friendships, and easily transition into themes both adults and teens can understand/identify with. I’m sure most of the “challengers” haven’t picked up the books and actually read them, because surely, if they did, there would be none of this absurdity!

  35. This is not to be taken as an insult. Most books on the banned book list are some of the best books out there. One of my high school teachers told me that everyone should read ‘a banned book’, it only means you are reading a great piece of literature! I love most of the books on the list.

  36. Sexual content? In breaking dawn for like two pages and it’s not descriptive.

  37. Every writer should have a right to write their own novels and opinions, if teachers and parents think it is inappropriate, thats their problem. They can’t stop others from doing what they want, WE HAVE RIGHTS!

  38. alice_rocks says

    All I have to say is, do they really think that a book is influencing their children to have sex. My niece was having sex at 14, long before she ever started reading books with adult content in them. Maybe they should take a look sex education in school at an earlier age instead of books that their children may or may not even be reading.

  39. All I’ve got to say is “I LOVE BEING A TWILIGHT FAN!!”

  40. Considering the fact that the #2 book on that list is a children’s book about two male penguins adopting a baby penguin, I’m not at all surprised that the Twilight Saga made the list. It saddens me to know that there even is a ‘challenged’ book list in existence. The purpose of literature is not to please everyone, but to tell a good, meaningful story. Some authors do that in a more uncensored way than others, which is completely their choice and their right. If someone does not like the topics discussed or issues raised in a book, they can simply choose not to read it or let their children read it. There is no need to create a list that’s only purpose is to make a mockery of the ALA.

  41. Utterly ridiculous! Twilight is tame in all areas compared to many YA books out there today. I am very religious & conservative & I see nothing wrong with the series at all. If anything they actually teach kids today good old fashioned values.

  42. Twilight Nymph says

    OK, so this is absurd b/c there’s not that much sex and religious viewpoint. I didn’t see that much of a religious viewpoint being implied. On, the other hand, having Twilight on the challenged/ banned list has it’s advantages. It’s fun reading books on the banned list. It’s fun reading something that is forbidden, especially during Banned Book Week. Then again that’s my opinion.


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