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Dealing with Censorship
The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
DeShea Jones
LSIS 5505- Fall 2010
Dr. Edna Cogdell
Who Censors?
 Typically a librarian with deal with parents (or other family
members and guardians) and organizations.
 Many times they feel that the book is inappropriate for the
child or for children in general.
Challenges in the School Setting
 The occurrences of challenges to children’s books is on the rise
 Today many Media Center Coordinators will have to deal with a
complaint and/or challenge by a parent or other individual
 The school must have a solid collection development policy and
challenge procedures to deal with these situations
Steps for Dealing with Challenges
Challenge is received
2. When speaking with the individual smile, listen, talk positively,
discuss it in layman’s language
3. If the individual still wants to file a complaint have them fill out
a Request for Reconsideration Form
4. Form should be turned in to the principal or other designated
Steps for Dealing with Challenges
6. A Reconsideration Committee should be formed
7. The book or other material will stay in circulation until a
decision is reached by the committee
8. Once the decision is made the appropriate steps should be
taken, whether it is to remove the material or keep it in
Who Should Be on the Committee?
 One member of the district staff chosen by the area assistant
One member of the school teaching staff chosen by the school
One member of the resource center professional staff chosen by
the resource center professional staff
One member of the school consultative committee chosen by the
school consultative committee
Two students chosen by the student body.
What Will the Committee Do?
 Examine the challenged resource;
 Determine professional acceptance by reading critical reviews of
the resource;
Weigh values and faults and form opinions based on the material
as a whole rather than on passages or sections taken out of
Discuss the challenged resource in the context of the educational
Discuss the challenged item with the individual questioner when
Prepare a written report.
What Will the Committee Do?
 After the report is prepared the report will be discussed with
the person who requested the material be reconsidered
 Copies of the report will be given to the appropriate
individuals and kept on record
 The person can then appeal the decision if they want
Example of a Challenge
Title: The Adventures of
Captain Underpants
Author: Dav Pilkey
Format: Book
Genre: Fiction
Interest Level: grades 3-5
Was #9 from 2000-2005 for
most frequently challenged
Possible Reasons to Challenge
 “Hero” is in his underwear
 Potty type jokes
 Inappropriate actions
 Rudeness
 Disrespect and pranks that the
main characters do might cause
some parental complaints
 Another complaint might be
that the book contains
numerous misspelled words,
because the comics are written
from a fourth grade student’s
Reason this Book Should Not Be
 It is often difficult to get boys to
read and this is something they will
probably love
The humor is on a kid’s level
The style is a little like a graphic
novel, which is popular
The book is interactive
It is a great transition between
lower level books and larger chapter
Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources
The school board of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, has delegated the responsibility for selection and evaluation of library/educational resources
to the school library media specialist/curriculum committee, and has established reconsideration procedures to address concerns about those
resources. Completion of this form is the first step in those procedures. If you wish to request reconsideration of school or library resources,
please return the completed form to the Media Center Coordinator at your school.
Name ___SuzyThomas
Date ___11/3/2010____
School: ____Anyplace
Elementary School______
Address ___123 Main Street_____________
City ____Charlotte__ State _____NC___ Zip _____28269_________________
Phone ____704-555-3333____
Do you represent self? _X__ Organization? ____
1.Resource on which you are commenting:
_X___ Book ____ Textbook ____ Video ____ Display ____ Magazine ____ Library Program
____ Audio Recording ____ Newspaper ____ Electronic information/network (please specify)
____ Other __________________________
Title __Captain
Author/Producer ___Dav Pilkey__________________
2.What brought this resource to your attention? My son was reading it for pleasure.
3.Have you examined the entire resource? Yes
4.What concerns you about the resource? (use other side or additional pages if necessary)
It is inappropriate for my son to read. One of the main characters of the book is in his underwear for much of the book
and he is seen as a hero. Also, the boys in the book misbehave and I think that sets a bad example for my son.
1.Are there resource(s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic? No, I just believe this book is
not appropriate for this age level.
Signature: ______
Suzy Thomas________________
Reviews of the Book
 “Another wonderful book by Dav Pilkey! True to form,
Captain Underpants taps into the minds of kids and provides
good, solid fun. The series combines silly characters with
adventure and, of course, potty humor. Perhaps the best
feature of any of the Captain Underpants books is their
ability to get our kids reading! Granted, the story line is
light. But that is just what early readers need to become
competent readers; and, what older readers need to relax
and just have fun – no different than beach reading for us.”
- Dr. Gwenn
Should This Book be Banned?
 This book is a great option for many young readers,
especially reluctant male readers.
 This book should be kept in circulation to be available to
children who want to read the book
 Parents should have the right to
limit what their child reads, but
they need to monitor what their
child is reading
 ALA. (1998). Workbook for selection policy writing. Retrieved from
ALA. (1999). Strategies and tips for dealing with challenges to library
materials. Retrieved from
Library Thing. (2009). The adventures of captain underpants. Retrieved
from http://www.librarything.com/work/231513/reviews/
Gwenn. (2009) Book review: Captain underpants series. Retrieved from
Pilkey, D. (1997). The adventures of captain underpants. New York:

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