Marmee, Meema, and the kids are just like any other family on the block. In their beautiful house, they cook dinner together, they laugh together, and they dance together. But some of the other families don’t accept them. They say they are different. How can a family have two moms and no dad? But Marmee and Meema’s house is full of love. And they teach their children that different doesn’t mean wrong. And no matter how many moms or dads they have, they are everything a family is meant to be..
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
In the zoo there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango’s family is not like any of the others. Based on the true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who built a nest and hatched a chick together, this book tells a heartwarming story for all families.
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, and two pets. And she also has two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. It doesn’t matter who makes up a family, the teacher says, because “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another.”
1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling 2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier 4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell 5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck 6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou 7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz 8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman 9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle 10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky 11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers 12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris 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 20. King and King, by Linda de Haan 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 29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney 30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier 31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones 32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya 33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson 34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler 35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison 36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley 37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris 38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles 39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane 40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank 41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher 42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi 43. Blubber, by Judy Blume 44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher 45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly 46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut 47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey 48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez 49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey 50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini 51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan 52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson 53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco 54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole 55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green 56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester 57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause 58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going 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 63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney 64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park 65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien 66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor 67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham 68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez 69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury 70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen 71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park 72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison 73. What’s Happening to My BodyBook, by Lynda Madaras 74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold 75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry 76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving 77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert 78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein 79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss 80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck 81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright 82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill 83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds 84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins 85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher 86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick 87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume 88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood 89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger 90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle 91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George 92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar 93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard 94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine 95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix 96. Grendel, by John Gardner 97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende 98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte 99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume 100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank
The Number 1 challenged book in America: Tango Makes Three.
Lemme spoil it for you. It’s about two gay penguins that wants to have a child, and hatch a little girl named Tango whose parents were overwhelmed by having two eggs rather than one. It’s seen as inappropriate for its age group for containing homosexuality and goes against religious viewpoints.
It’s a lovely story about family values and acceptance. It is also a true story and it deeply saddens me that this is how it’s treated.
“And Tango Makes Three” Tops List of Banned Books Published on September 28th, 2011 Written by: Mhaire F
This week is Banned Books Week, and we’re celebrating by showcasing various books which have been censored for a variety of reasons. Celebrate this week by picking up one of these books and reading.
The Central Park Zoo in New York has an unlikely but lovable pair of animals. This is a true story. It is so charming that Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell teamed up with well-known illustrator Henry Cole to create a children’s book out of the story. They called it “And Tango Makes Three.” It is nothing short of delightful.
It has been on the banned books list since it was published in 2005. It is usually listed as the number one most-banned title, although one year went fell to second place.
Roy and Silo are a pair of chinstrap penguins who reside in the penguin quarters. When the girl penguins noticed the boy penguins and when the boy penguins noticed the girl penguins, Roy and Silo, two boys, noticed each other. They bowed and sang to each other and made a nice nest. But it was a little empty. They then noticed that the other Penguins couples could do something they could not do. They tried and tried, even rolling an egg shaped rock and sitting on it for hours, but they could not hatch it.
One of the zookeepers noticed, and when another penguin couple produced two fertile eggs, he gave one of the m to Roy and Silo. The odds of having two fertile eggs raised to adulthood by one couple are slim. Twins are hard everywhere, it seems.
Roy and Silo knew ‘just what to do” and kept the egg warm, turning it over and over so all sides would benefit, and finally, their daughter Tango arrived. (Get it? Because it takes two to make a Tango?). Her fathers fed her and sang to her and snuggled her warm at night.
“She was the very first penguin to have two daddies.”
And there it is, the line that prompted the ban.
This book talks about love, and family, and the heartbreak of being childless. It talks about families who are not conventional and who love each other anyway. Indeed the inside fly cover reads: “In the zoo there are all kinds of families. But Tango’s family is not like any of the others.”
Now, as far as I could research, Tango, Roy and Silo are still a happy family. It took the kindness of a zookeeper, and an extra egg to create it. It makes me wonder what would happen if there were kind zookeepers in the wild. Maybe Tango would not have been the first penguin with two daddies, or two mommies.
The concept of homosexuality is the reason for the ban. Except the book isn’t about that, and it is now on my bookshelf, where any of my friends can read it, no matter their age. Children between the ages of six and nine have definite ideas about gender roles, but are willing to accept the idea of two daddies, or two mommies, or one mommy or one daddy. This is 2011. They live with all different kinds of families now.
I showed it to a 13-year-old friend of mine, and he flipped through the pages trying to find the reason for the ban. He couldn’t do it. He didn’t see anything wrong with Roy and Silo. I am so grateful for that, and hope that many more kids see this book the same way. Better yet, that their parents do.