The 'Little Bill' series has been challenged on the basis of the sexual allegations against its author as opposed to the content of the books.
Bill Cosby’s Little Bill series is ninth on the list of the American Library Association’s top 10 challenged books of 2016. But unlike other books on the list, which have been flagged for their content, Cosby’s books have been challenged on the grounds of the sexual assault allegations against him, marking the first time this has happened in ALA history.
The series follows the adventures of 5-year-old Bill Jr. as he grows up in Philadelphia and learns a variety of lessons. The books were later adapted into an animated series of the same name which ran on Nick Jr. from 1999 to 2004.
Other books featured on the list — which is based on the 323 challenges reported to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom — are This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, Drama by Raina Telgemeier, George by Alex Gino, I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel, Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, each of which have been challenged for featuring LGBTQ themes or characters and being “sexually explicit.” In the case of Jennings’ memoir and Gino’s novel, the central issue of their challenges was that they were about transgender children.
Also included on the list were John Green’s Looking For Alaska (which was featured last year) and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. The former for being sexually explicit, the latter for using offensive language. In fact, this seemed to be a recurring theme, as both of the other books on the list, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky‘s Big Hard Sex Criminals and Chuck Palahnuik’s Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread were also challenged on a similar basis.
Authors featured on the ALA’s list have since commented on their inclusion on social media. You can see their tweets below.