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Scholastic Will Luv Ya Bunches, Except if You’re a Gay Parent

Scholastic Will Luv Ya Bunches, Except if You’re a Gay Parent

Luv Ya Bunches is a children’s book about four elementary school girls who don’t seem to have much in common, except that they’re all named after flowers. Sounds pretty harmless, right? Scholastic have refused to allow the book in their school book fair events. Why? According to the School Library Journal, it’s because one of the characters in the book has same-sex parents.

Written by Lauren Myracle, Luv Ya Bunches is the first installment in a four-book series. The author says that the book, which was released October 1, was rejected for inclusion in Scholastic’s book fair events for two reasons. They are:

  1. The book contained offensive language.
  2. The book depicted a child with same-sex parents.

The Offensive Language in Luv Ya Bunches
No children’s book should contain overtly gratuitous language, that’s for sure. So what was the language concerned Scholastic? The School Library Journal lists the following examples:

  • “Geez.”
  • “Crap.”
  • “Sucks.”
  • “God” (as in, “oh my God”).


Having graced the top ten list of most challenged authors on more than one occasion
, author Lauren Myracle is no stranger to controversy, but she agreed to make the requested changes to the language, saying that she would comply “with the goal–as always–of making the book as available to as many readers as possible.”

However, she would not comply with Scholastic’s request to re-write the storyline so that character Milla had a mother and a father instead of two moms.

The Same-Sex Parents Issue in Luv Ya Bunches
Author Lauren Myracle told the School Library Journal:

“A child having same-sex parents is not offensive, in my mind, and shouldn’t be ‘cleaned up.’… Over 200,000 kids in America are raised by same-sex parents, just like Milla. It’s not an issue to clean up or hide away… In my opinion, it’s not an ‘issue’ at all. The issue, as I see it, is that kids benefit hugely from seeing themselves reflected positively in the books they read. It’s an extremely empowering and validating experience.”


Scholastic remain quietly defiant. Here’s what they had to say (emphasis is mine):

“Authors are often given the opportunity to make changes in the books to meet the norms of the various communities that host the fairs,” – Kyle Good, a Scholastic spokesperson.

By extension, would Scholastic then say that, if a book featuring gay parents doesn’t belong in schools, a child that has two moms doesn’t belong in schools either because that child also breaks the “norm”?

Or do the two moms just have to stay at home, out of sight, out of mind? This appears to be the policy that Scholastic have, because a quick search of their website reveals that Luv Ya Bunches is on this month’s list of Scholastic Teachers’ Picks.

And this isn’t the first time that Scholastic have been in hot-water, either. Earlier in the year, 1,262 teachers signed a petition to ask that Scholastic stop pushing children’s toys at Scholastic school events, saying that they, as teachers, felt exploited. It does make me wonder, are Scholastic worried that Myracle’s book wont sell as much merchandise with the same-sex moms in tow?

Scholastic were stung by a backlash from religious conservatives when they allowed Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series into their in-school collection a few years ago. Are these the kind of “norms” that they are now catering to?

Scholastic have released a short statement on the issue, saying:

Scholastic is offering Luv Ya Bunches in our Book Clubs. We decided we would not offer this title in Fairs. School Library Journal inaccurately stated that we censored the book. We review thousands of books each year and only a limited number can be carried in our channels.

Noticeably, Scholastic do not challenge the School Library Journal’s assertions on why they rejected the book for in-school events. Scholastic, it is true, are offering the book on their website and in their Scholastic Book Club catalog. But this is almost worse.

It implies that there’s something taboo about Luv Ya Bunches because it features a character with two moms. The truth seems to be that Scholastic are censoring what they show in schools so as not to risk “damaging” their brand. That’s spineless, and not only that, it is offensive.

Related Care2 Actions:
Click here to urge your senators to take action on ENDA today.
Click here to show your support for a DADT repeal.
Click here to sign Care2′s Defense of Marriage Act repeal petition.

*** UPDATE:  Scholastic have reviewed their decision and have now decided to include Luv Ya Bunches in their school fair collection for Spring. Read their full statement here. ***

 

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to PlayfulLibrarian.

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195 comments

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10:31AM PDT on Jul 16, 2010

Hi everyone.. I don't wish to pass judgement on people as I am very obviously judged myself harshly for being a gay parent. However, I am also a believer, but in this instance feel the need to stipulate this fact due to the fact that religion seems to have been thrown into this conversation like a shield against evil. I truly feel that being gay doesn't make one evil and I would hate to be judged on that level by a fellow believer.

This does seem a little silly to throwing God's name around for self-satisfaction, not so?

Having said all that, I would like to point out that I feel people are being rather nasty to each other, and it's not very nice.

Please stop it now? It's become far more personal than it should be, and I find this very unnecessary and rather hurtful if I may add.... I do hope this will be the last comment on this subject... "Love and Light"

12:49PM PST on Jan 10, 2010

my response to barbara is that you think its ok to judge if you're not a christian, but if you are a christian, you should just stay quiet and take it. and to sarah good for you keep playing victim. it suits you.

9:19PM PST on Nov 12, 2009

Great that Scholastic have listened to what people want...
they will make more profit by including all segments of the parent market...Gay/openminded people buy lotsa books!

I've noticed that the children of same sex parents who have commented here have high levels of literacy and are obviously well educated...Maybe partly because their more openminded parents seek out more diverse reading matter than what's available in schools-
Children need to be equipped with information to help them understand their world and themselves...
It's amazing how afraid of difference some people are- coincidentally the 4 children of same sex parents I've known all grew up to be straight...People fearing that reading about gay people will turn their kids gay is totally irrational!
Unless you live in a gated fundamentalist community your children are going to encounter homosexuality at some stage...
And Jesus is all about LOVE, I don't believe he would discriminate against anyone...especially not children :)

10:33AM PST on Nov 10, 2009

Mary no one is forcing anyone to read anything! By banning certain books in public school because of one particular organized religion they are pushing their beliefs on everyone in that public school and in the process making certain individuals seem wrong or sinful. I will say it again there is suppose to be separation of church and state. Religious rules and beliefs have no place in PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!

8:32PM PST on Nov 9, 2009

yes, but christians also deserve the same respect that everyone else wants.we should not be forced to read anything we don't want either.

1:32PM PST on Nov 9, 2009

There is suppose to be a separation of church and state so religious beliefs should not come up in our public schools. This is not infringing on your rights as a Christian it is being respectful to those that are not Christians and do not believe or follow the Christian bible.
It is ridicules and yes rude to expect our nation to cater to Christians only and discriminate against all others. We are a melting pot of all colors, creeds, nationalities and yes sexualities. We are not just a Christian nation for anyone to think that we are and expect the world to revolve around you and your beliefs you are being discriminative to all others.

8:49AM PST on Nov 7, 2009

In general...over the course on many years, minority groups of people(usually under 25% of the population), seems to feel that our Nation has not been fair or adequate by their standards. As a mother of almost 7 children, I am not against banning same-sex teachings in school. As a matter of fact, I am sick of everyone telling me and other Christians how we infringe on their civil rights and are discriminated. There is no more a discriminated group in the world now than people who believe in our heritage, our Bible, our God, and our country. There was nothing wrong with the Constitution or with the laws that we abide by, what is wrong is that everyone thinks that they are more important than everyone else and think their way is the way. It shows as our Nation has been banning the usage of the word God and forsaken our true Creator. This world has now become a breeding ground for hatred, and I am scared for my children. I do not discriminate against what I believe as I teach my children what is morally correct and try as hard as I can to testify that God and His Son hates NO ONE. This world is a pit of hypocrisy that is only doomed. So just a reminder to everyone, you may win the battle now, but ultimately your way will NEVER win the war. Our God is an awesome God and He reigns from Heaven above!! Peace and Love to you all.

8:51PM PST on Nov 3, 2009

Oh for the love of Goddess! Nowadays it only takes a keystroke to make more than one version of a book.

Scholastic could have easily made books both for well-balanced, understanding children, and for the little nutters apparently born to hate different folks.

That a so-called educational book publisher wouldn't educate children about same-sex couples being normal is scary.

True, not a scary as the annual tripe they put out about witches being this or that, but scary enough.

Did anyone ever notice that when they do publish about alternate faiths or lifestyles the editor makes sure we sound crazy?

I'm pretty sure that all the writers on the paranormal, wicca, or pagan paths aren't athiests who loathe any faith whatsoever.

Hry we are free to believe what we want. But no one is free to twist a writer's words to take on a new meaning.

You can be sure if they did publish this book, the same sex parents would be misfits, to use a kinder term then they do.

She should go with a more sensible publisher. Clearly there are better ones out there who would jump at a chance to address real famillies that include two dads or two moms.

Reading a book about gay parents is not going to turn children gay. But then again there are straight parents in the book too. OMG, our kids could grow up straight!!! The horror, the horror.

Anyhow I wanna copy. About time children's fiction came into the 21st century. This writer rocks! :)

9:01AM PST on Nov 3, 2009

Then why do you keep coming back Mary?

7:43PM PST on Nov 2, 2009

you are still not worth it

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