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Schools Allowed To Exclude Inclusive Titles From Scholastic Book Fairs

In response to the increasing wave of state laws restricting literature related to race, gender, and LGBTQ+ themes in educational settings, Scholastic, a renowned publisher of children’s books, unveiled an optional collection with “woke” books.

According to EducationWeek, scholastic introduced “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice,” housing 64 titles that touch upon LGBTQ+ characters, civil rights activists, and people of color. The distinctiveness of this collection is that it allows elementary schools hosting Scholastic book fairs to choose whether to include or exclude these books from their offerings.

In the past year, Texas has taken the lead in banning books from school libraries, surpassing all other states in the nation. According to a recent analysis by PEN America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to championing free speech, the state’s targets have included books focusing on race, racism, abortion, and LGBTQ representation and issues.

PEN America found 3,362 instances of book banning at K-12 schools during the 2022-23 school year, up 33% from the previous year. In March, The Houston Chronicle compiled a detailed list of the challenges that were being made to school libraries and revealed that since the term “critical race theory” became widely utilized to oppose teaching about racism, the labor movement, gender identity, and sexual orientation, challenges, and bans sharply skyrocketed. In 2017, only five books were challenged and none were removed. By 2021, the challenges had reached 29 and the removals 19.

Earlier in the month, Scholastic demonstrated its opposition to book bans by signing an open letter drafted by PEN America. However, the publisher’s recent press release suggests that, given the increasing prevalence of restrictive legislation, their options were limited. Scholastic felt compelled to make books related to race, gender, or sexuality optional in their book fair collection or not offer them at all.

“We don’t pretend this solution is perfect—but the other option would be to not offer these books at all—which is not something we’d consider,” the press release read.

Here is the complete list of Scholastic’s separate collection provided by EdW

  • The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez
  • All Are Neighbors by Alexandra Penfold
  • All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
  • Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
  • Alma’s Way: Junior’s Lost Tooth by Gabrielle Reyes
  • Battle Dragons: City of Speed by Alex London
  • Battle Dragons: City of Thieves by Alex London
  • Because of You, John Lewis by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • Big Nate: Payback Time! by Lincoln Peirce
  • Blended by Sharon M. Draper
  • Booked (Graphic Novel) by Kwame Alexander
  • Change Sings by Amanda Gorman
  • City of Dragons: Rise of the Shadowfire by Jaimal Yogis
  • Dragon Prince Graphic Novel #2: Bloodmoon Huntress by Nicole Andelfinger
  • Dragon Prince Graphic Novel #3: Puzzle House by Peter Wartman
  • Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros
  • Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez
  • Freestyle by Gale Galligan
  • The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown
  • The Girl With Big, Big Questions by Britney Winn Lee
  • Her Own Two Feet by Meredith Davis
  • Our World in Pictures, the History Book
  • Home for Meow: Kitten Around by Reese Eschmann
  • Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd
  • I Am My Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams by Tanisia Moore
  • I Am Ruby Bridges by Ruby Bridges
  • I Color Myself Different by Colin Kaepernick
  • Into the Heartlands: A Black Panther Graphic Novel by Roseanne A. Brown
  • JoJo’s Sweet Adventures: The Great Candy Caper by JoJo Siwa
  • Justice Ketanji by Denise Lewis Patrick
  • Karma’s World: Daddy and Me and the Rhyme to Be by Halcyon Person
  • Karma’s World: The Great Shine-a-Thon Showcase! by Halcyon Person
  • The Loud House: No Bus, No Fuss by Shannon Penney
  • The Loud House: Old Friends, New Friends by Daniel Mauleon
  • Mabuhay! by Zachary Sterling
  • Miss Quinces by Kat Fajardo
  • Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
  • More Than Peach (Bellen Woodard Original Picture Book) by Bellen Woodard
  • Nuestra América by Sabrina Vourvoulias
  • Parachute Kids by Betty C. Tang
  • Pedro and the Shark by Fran Manushkin
  • Pets Rule: My Kingdom of Darkness by Susan Tan
  • Pets Rule: The Rise of the Goldfish by Susan Tan
  • Picture Day by Sarah Sax
  • Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
  • Refugee by Alan Gratz
  • Reina Ramos Works It Out by Emma Otheguy
  • Remarkably Ruby by Terri Libenson
  • Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac
  • The Secret Battle of Evan Pao by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
  • She Dared: Malala Yousafzai by Jenni L. Walsh
  • Speak Up! by Rebecca Burgess
  • Sports Heroes Lebron James
  • The Storyteller by Brandon Hobson
  • That Girl Lay Lay: It’s Time to #Slay by That Girl Lay Lay with Kwyn Bader
  • That Girl Lay Lay: Positive Vibes Only by Andrea Loney
  • Thunderous by M. L. Smoker
  • The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat
  • We Shall Overcome by Bryan Collier
  • When Clouds Touch Us by Thanhha Lai
  • Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez
  • Who Was the Greatest? by Gabriel Soria
  • You Are Enough by Margaret O’Hair
  • You Are Loved by Margaret O’Hair
Staff
Staff
Written by RA News staff.

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