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Banned Books Week Featured Review: The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Each year during Banned Books Week, I review a book that has been challenged frequently. In 2010, I chose to read and review The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. This children's book has been at the top of the list of most challenged books for the past two years. It is challenged because of offensive language, unsuitability for age group and violence. I first read the book with my son C when he was 6 years old. He has since read the entire series and loved it. Following is my review from September 27, 2010. Enjoy!

I originally figured I'd wait until C asked to read the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey before checking it out, but when I saw it on the Most Frequently Challenged Books, I thought it would be a great way to support Banned Books Week. We picked out the first book in the series, The Adventures of Captain Underpants. I opened it up and was ready for lots of bad behavior and potty mouth dialog. What I got was a big surprise.

This book wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected. As a matter of fact, I thought it was pretty funny. And C did too. The story is about two 4th grade boys, George and Harold, who are always getting into trouble at school. The principal can't stand them or the comic books they write. When he finally gets the evidence he needs to take the boys down, they resort to desperate measures to save themselves, and in the process turn their principal into their comic book superhero Captain Underpants!

Do the boys misbehave? Of course. Might C learn a trick or two from them about how to misbehave? Yes, I suppose he might. But the story wasn't damaging or disturbing. It was funny, which is exactly what it was meant to be. It certainly shouldn't be banned.

Four years later, I can tell you that my son has not turned into a juvenile delinquent after reading this series!! I also want to share this new video that Dav Pilkey released this week. It's about banning books. Take a look!

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