To guide your summer getaway book selections, try this formula: E=FB²
I drove to the library for a book by Max Lucado that might help me with my puppet show. I asked the librarian if she had heard of him. She said yes. We walked together to the “L’s” and she went through the motions of looking, but no Lucado was to be found between the Longs and Ludvigs.
What I did spot was a large free-standing rack of children’s fare dedicated to LGBTQ topics.
I said, perplexed: “Lucado is a famous author. What happened?” “There are new authors coming out all the time,” she said. “So the new titles push out the old?” I asked, not wanting to embarrass her or myself, though already suspecting it was more than that. “Unless they’re classics,” she gratefully seized on my out.
You are probably not so thoughtless as I have been to suppose that books just somehow show up in libraries—the way we all once thought babies just showed up in hospitals. You probably have not been so naïve as to think that beneath the sartorial primness of the local librarian still beats the heart of old heartland American virtues.
I googled the ALA (American Library Association) official magazine, American Libraries. The home page featured a drag queen in a hot red dress, faux pearls, garishly painted eyes, and a strawberry blond wig, dancing in seductive manner before a roomful of sponge-like 3-year-olds, the caption promising to bring this show on the road to all of America, including “red-state towns like Juneau, Alaska, and Lincoln, Nebraska.”
‘Librarians are suiting up for battle.’—American Libraries, June 2017
A June 2017 article titled “Standing Up for Our Communities” announces:
“Librarians are suiting up for battle. Faced with … an awakening of hate groups …, librarians have become more emboldened by their core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and are fighting to maintain those values. … This is a guide for librarians seeking best practices to serve the LGBTQ+ youth community in these times of uncertainty, and a road map for those who might be new to serving this community.
“… ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) has developed a series of professional tools for serving LGBTQ+ library users. … The latest toolkit is an eight-page document that … covers a variety of topics including user needs, collection development [italics mine], terminology, outreach, and recommended reading.”
Christian Max Lucado evidently didn’t make it through the “collection development” process.
I grabbed three colorful hardcover books from the LGBTQ display, sat in the kids’ room, and read them one by one:
Transphobia: Deal With It, by J. Wallace Skelton, is a large-picture book that starts with a bang. Certain female students complain to the coach that a trans girl (i.e., biological male child “transitioning” to, or declaring himself, female) on their team has an unfair advantage in competitions. These complainers are schooled in short order. One by one, other unenlightened objections against fellow trans students are set straight. Trans is to be celebrated.
Princess Princess Ever After, by Katie O’Neill, manages to have it all: LGBTQ, race, and toxic masculinity propaganda packaged in one revisionist knight-in-shining-armor story. A (white and weak) princess named Sadie is rescued by a dashing (black and butch) princess named Amira, and they ride off on Amira’s horse into the sunset and love “ever after,” but not before making a dunce of a boorish and bumbling (white male) prince who is not up to the job of rescuing.
Star-Crossed, by Barbara Dee, takes us back to school where 12-year-old Mattie, by a lucky turn of events, gets to play Romeo to a Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet in the 8th grade play, Gemma being a girl she has a mad crush on—though she is also attracted to Elijah (there’s your “B” in “LGBTQ”).
Feeling nauseated after my foray into modern kids’ lit, I brought the three books to the front desk and complained to the librarian about the library’s all-out effort to plant these disturbing suggestions into innocent minds.
“Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come. It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:1-2).