Brave Books Exposes Scholastic Books' Woke Agenda
Scholastic books has been a trusted name in American schools for decades. In 1948, Scholastic partnered with Pocket Books to "revolutionize[d] access to books" for the "masses." Students could "rip out the form on the last page of a classroom magazine and submit their order through their teacher." I remember doing it as a kid. Today, around 5 million children nationwide order from approximately 800,000 educators, according to the Scholastic website. Scholastic is the largest children's book publisher in the U.S.
Because of the longstanding legacy of using Scholastic as a "trusted" resource, educators and librarians may not properly vet the materials Scholastic promotes. Educators and librarians may not even know the materials are there. Now they will have no excuse.
Enter Brave Books, a company dedicated to protecting traditional American values and history. More importantly, Brave Books is on a mission to protect the innocence of children by providing wholesome, age appropriate choices.
Brave has undertaken the hefty task of investigating just what kinds of books children might order through Scholastic so that librarians and educators can make better choices. The American Library Association gets over 230 million a year in taxpayer funding.
Brave is now sharing its investigation of Scholastic in the form of a pdf available on its website. Brave's investigation of Scholastic is part of its project to examine how libraries choose the materials they put on their shelves. In fact, Brave's initiative headed by Kirk Cameron is called "The Library Takeover," inviting citizens to become more aware of the books in libraries. Brave promotes its books and other materials it regards to be wholesome and age-appropriate for school-aged children.
In its investigation, Brave found material that is pornographic or overly violent in the Scholastic collection. Alex Gino, the author of Melissa excerpted with photos below, according to Brave, "writes queer and progressive middle grade novels...for and about young LGBTQIA+ people." The issue has nothing to do with the fact he is gay or that he caters to a gay audience. Melissa depicts graphic, sexually charged content and openly promotes puberty blockers. In the book Rick, also by Gino, one of the adult characters asks his grandson not to "tell anyone" about his crossdressing. Rick also encourages pre-school aged children to explore their sexuality, according to one Amazon review. Some of Gino's books are wholly inappropriate for young children and would be so regardless of one's sexual preferences.
Gino also wrote a book entitled, You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! that, according to Brave, discusses police brutality featuring a young black girl who is "shot several times in the back by the police."
Another Scholastic book is authored by Lewis Hancox, who wrote a graphic novel called Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure. It is "geared toward 14-year-olds." Remarkably, the book received the Goodreads Choice Award, nominated for best graphic novels and comics category in 2022. It features images of teens engaging in sex, injecting hormones, and other material that is not appropriate for school libraries.
Brave reports that a parent who reviewed Smile, a book targeting 9-14 year-olds, "...unsuspectingly purchased it for her 8-year-old son. The parent reported,
"The book introduced my son to the idea that you need to have your first kiss when you are 13...to the game spin the bottle...to the phrase "have the hots" for someone, and to the idea that you should feel insecure about yourself base on how you look but then if you fix whatever is causing you to feel insecure (like your teeth) in the end it will be better and you can be happy."
In the category of intense violence, Scholastic published the book Chains, a book for 6th graders. Brave reports, in Chains
“A young girl is beaten into unconsciousness, her teeth are broken, she’s
branded on the cheek, and she’s slashed in the face with a riding crop. Men
are hung and stabbed; people are killed in battle, fire, and lightning. A boy
is decapitated by a cannonball. Dead bodies are stacked like cordwood,
dumped in pits. A husband punches his wife in the face.”
And in the book Darkstalker (Wings of Fire: Legends) there is a passage that asks a character to disembowel another character to "show us all what you're really like on the inside."
“‘Cut out your tongue,’ Darkstalker said coldly. Arctic’s eyes became round
holes of horror as he reached up to his mouth, pulled out his long blue forked
tongue, and sliced it off with his own claws. ... ‘Take your talons, rip open your
stomach, and show us all what you’re really like on the inside. Pour out your
life on this stage.’ It took a long time, and it was messy, and at the end of it,
when Arctic was definitely dead, Darkstalker did not feel nearly as happy as
Scholastic does not hide its agenda. A recent statement from the company stated it is "proud" of publishing two of the Library Association's Most Challenged Books List books: Raina Telgemeier's Drama and Alex Gino's George, the #1 most challenged book of last year.
Brave book rightly challenges parents to become more engaged with the books children are exposed to at school. Brave also challenges school librarians and school boards to be more discerning about Scholastic materials. There are plenty of other options for schools, some of which are listed on page 8 of the Brave pdf.
This is a new age for parents. We can no longer give unexamined trust to publishers and school librarians. This isn't about book bans, either. It is about providing age-appropriate content that recognizes developmental readiness for the material.
Freedom Forever is an all volunteer organization that focuses its energy and time on preserving the innocence and safety of children. Freedom Forever is now also offering crisis support for survivors and families. Please call the Crisis Resource Line at 615.307.0152 or email our resource specialist at Starr@FreedomForever.us.
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