A pornographic school library book that caused an uproar in a northern Virginia school district this week is actually only one of an entire genre of books that are in schools across the country, thanks to backing from the Young Adult Library Services division of the American Library Association (YALSA).
The librarians group, which has a significant influence on school libraries, has long been accused of serving literature with a side of far-left political influence on impressionable young minds. But what is just as notable as the extreme sex and ideology in its most recent favorites is the fact that it has seemingly abandoned literature altogether in favor of ideological tracts that don’t require so much pesky reading: comics.
YALSA’s “outstanding list of comics for teen readers ages 12 to 18″ is full of tracts like Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, one of the books called out by a parent in Fairfax County, Virginia, who caused the school board to flee the stage, citing that children were present, when the parent simply read verbatim from materials she checked out of her child’s school library.
Parents or school officials who relied on the librarian group’s summary of the “great graphic novels,” without actually reading them, would be misled. For example, YALSA’s description of that Gender Queer says “Kobabe’s art is a simple, gentle take on realism—ideal for conveying information and introducing readers to the complexity of self-expression and identity.”
In reality, a Daily Wire review of the autobiographical comic found, it shows a nonbinary teenager and young adult who says her “sexual fantasies involved two male partners” and whose sister tells her to “taste yourself,” leading her to put what she calls “vagina slime” on her finger. In her journey of self-discovery, Maia visits the headquarters of a porn company that produced films called “Public Disgrace,” “Bound in Public,” and “Hardcore Gangbangs.”
Maia rejects femininity in part because “I’m way too selfish for parenting. Plus, the thought of growing a parasite being [sic] inside my own body makes me want to vomit.”
As a young adult, Maia wears boys’ cartoon underwear and wants the “high-fantasy-gay-wizard-prince look of my dreams.” After dating a sex shop owner for two months, Maia’s partner says, “I got a new strap-on harness today. I can’t wait to put it on you it [sic] will fit my favorite dildo perfectly.” When the partner attaches the sex toy and performs oral sex on it, Maia complains that “I can’t feel anything.”
Maia gets a job as a librarian and starts teaching classes to girls between the ages of 11 and 14. “I wonder if any of these kids are trans or nonbinary, but don’t have words for it yet?” the author says. “How would I help support a young person who came to me with the same feelings I have about gender? … if the kid hadn’t hit puberty yet, I’d say try hormone blockers.”
The following are typical of “graphic novels” on YALSA’s list. Far from literary classics that develop reading skills, most are cartoons published in the last few years.
Some awkwardly combine typical children’s genres like vampires and wizards with political and sexual bludgeoning:
Ghosted In L.A.: “College student Daphne adjusts to her new home with the ghosts of Rycroft Manor. On top of school work and navigating relationships with her ghost roommates, she also must deal with sinister forces both inside and outside the house. Meanwhile, her gay ex-boyfriend Ronnie joins the Rycroft crew and tries to fit in among the other queer students at college.”
You Brought Me The Ocean: “Jake secretly has a crush on Kenny Liu, the green-haired swim team captain who struggles with his father accepting his sexuality. Jake has another secret he is keeping from everyone: when he comes in contact with water these strange blue markings on his skin begin to glow. As he searches for his identity, will he have the power to face it head on?”
Superman Smashes The Klan: “In 1946, Lan-Shin (Roberta) Lee and her family move from Chinatown to central Metropolis and attempt to fit in with their neighbors. But when the Klan begins harassing the Lees, Roberta must team up with new friends to help Superman take down the Klan in this smart, action-packed adventure.”
The list’s treatment of sex is less about educating teens regarding their changing bodies than it is about pushing deviance.
A Quick & Easy Guide To Sex & Disability meets the demand among school librarians for a how-to manual on how wheelchair-bound teens can use a dildo. “This book dispels myths about disabled bodies, stresses the importance of self-love and communication (with partners as well as doctors and personal care attendants), and covers the basics of sex toys and positioning furniture.”
In Love Me, Love Me Not, a girl falls in love with her stepbrother.
Education about history is in short supply, except for a book about a group of racial radicals whose minister of information, Eldridge Cleaver, admitted to raping white women as “an insurrectionary act.” The Black Panther Party “documents the rise of the revolutionary party from its inception in 1966 Oakland, California, to its dissolution in the 1980s. Key figures like Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge, [sic] and Kathleen Cleaver, Tarika Lewis, and Elaine Brown are introduced and highlighted, as well as the Party’s still-relevant Ten Point Program and the lethal influence of the FBI’s illegal counterintelligence program, COINTELPRO.”
Other materials are less literature than how-to manuals for budding political activists.
Go With the Flow: “Fed up with the empty tampon and pad dispensers at Hazelton High School, sophomores Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha decide to start a ‘menstruation revolution.’ Through blog posts, letter-writing campaigns, and online fundraisers, the girls work together to make change.”
The Plain Janes: “When Jane Beckles transfers to a suburban school, she never expected to find three new friends—all named Jane. The Janes band together to create activist art and discover that the art, and the message behind it, is the key that keeps them together.”
What We Don’t Talk About: “After dating for two years, Farai and Adam travel to Adam’s childhood home so Farai can meet his parents. However, Farai starts experiencing blatant bigotry and racism from Adam’s parents (and a lack of support from Adam). Will she be able to take her life into her own hands and define her own happiness?”
Juliet Takes A Breath: “Meet Juliet, a queer Puerto Rican college student from the Bronx eager to begin her internship in Portland with white feminist author Harlowe Brisbane.”
Cheer Up: Love And Pompoms: “When brilliant but antisocial lesbian Annie joins the cheerleading team to round out her college applications, she rekindles her friendship with BeBe, the newly elected captain of the squad. While Annie’s outspokenness often alienates others, BeBe, a transgender girl, struggles to please everyone, especially her teammates and her parents. As BeBe learns to advocate for herself in the face of microaggressions, Annie discovers that opening herself up to others might not be so bad after all.”
More YALSA-praised books focused on underage gay sex are listed here.