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Update: Scholastic reverses decision regarding ‘Luv Ya Bunches’

Scholastic has reversed its decision about ‘Luv Ya Bunches’, a book which features a teen with lesbian parents.

The company issued a statement on its corporate blog:

“The following is an update on Luv Ya Bunches and Scholastic Book Fairs: Scholastic does not censor books. We review thousands of titles each year for our book clubs and book fairs, and we are committed to a review process that considers all books equally regardless of their inclusion of LGBT characters and same sex parents. In an interview with School Library Journal, Scholastic stated that we are currently carrying Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle in our school book clubs. We also said we were still reviewing the book for possible inclusion in our book fairs. Having completed our review of Luv Ya Bunches, Scholastic Book Fairs will carry the title in our spring fairs for middle school. Scholastic is proud of our long history of providing books that will appeal to the wide range of interests and reading abilities of children in the many diverse cultures and communities we serve. Luv Ya Bunches is just one example.”

‘Luv Ya Bunches’ censored due to gay content

Family Equality Council reports that Scholastic has censored Lauren Myracle’s new book Luv Ya Bunches (Abrams/Amulet, 2009) do to its language and gay-friendly content.

The advocacy group shares an article by Rocco Staino of the School Library Journal about the book censorship.

Writes Staino: “Luv Ya Bunches, about four elementary school girls who have little in common, but bond over the fact that they’re all named after flowers, is the first installment of a four-book series. But Scholastic says the book, released on October 1, failed to meet its vetting process because it contains offensive language and same-sex parents of one of the main characters, Milla…

“Myracle has appeared on the American Library Association’s top 10 list of most often challenged authors. Still, she’s surprised that Scholastic would shy away from a reality that exists in numerous households across the country.

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, says Myracle. 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 defended the move, saying a lesbian couple wouldn’t play well in certain communities around the country.

We encourage you to contact Scholastic and tell them that kids with GLBT parents deserve equal representation.

The title will be available in the Scholastic Book Club catalog.

Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson’s picture book And Tango Makes Three isn’t available for sale at book fairs, it is available on the Scholastic Web site, she adds.

One thought on “Update: Scholastic reverses decision regarding ‘Luv Ya Bunches’

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I added my own comment to Scholastic’s site, as follows:

    As an author myself, and one who has written a YA novel about a girl with a lesbian mom (one that hasn’t been challenged by anyone to my knowledge), I can’t believe how long it is taking for certain aspects of society to realize, and accept, how the idea of “family” has evolved over the years. There was a time in the not so distant past (30+ years ago) when stories about kids with divorced parents were frowned on, as well as those involving premarital sex, masturbation, domestic violence, or any of the other issues teens deal with on a daily basis. For example, I remember a book on writing for children published back in the sixties or seventies that disencouraged authors to write about the death of a parent, presumably because it might be upsetting to the younger reader.

    Today’s teen readers are smart and savvy, and eager to read about experiences both similar to, and different from, their own. Gay parenting isn’t new, and novels dealing with this subject are long overdue; discouraging and/or censoring these stories not only does a great disservice to the many children of gay parents who’d certainly like to read about families like their own, but to the others who could benefit, and gain empathy, from a deeper understanding of the subject.

    Jeannine Garsee

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