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Intolerance and The Fate of Fairy Tales in West Virginia

Inclusivity in children’s literature for one community comes down to a pastor and the county library board as the decision to ban a book about a prince and a knight falling in love is pushed back.

from Daniel Haack’s “Prince & Knight”
from Daniel Haack’s “Prince & Knight”
The Upshur County Public Library Board in West Virginia recently pulled the children’s book, ‘Prince & Knight’, from the library due to its LGBTQ content. This is another example recently of one person or group shouting louder than everyone else and forcing their opinions and personal beliefs on others in an intentional effort to destroy access to information.

In Citrus County, Florida, the county commissioners laughed at the idea of paying for a subscription to the New York Times, a subscription which would have benefitted 70,000 people, allowing them access to news and research. Their reasoning? The commissioners personally felt the New York Times was “fake news”.

Now another community “leader”, this time a pastor in West Virginia, is taking a similar position—his personal beliefs or opinions should supersede his community’s access to reading material, because the fairy tale he believes in of an omnipotent god who created the universe in seven days two thousand years ago is more realistic than a fairy tale about two guys falling in love.

from Daniel Haack’s “Prince & Knight”Because how dare you teach kids to be happy with who they are.

The children’s book was removed from the shelves of the library at the wishes of a pastor who released an anti-LGBTQ statement claiming the book “is a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children, especially boys, into the LGBTQA lifestyle.” Pastor Layfield claimed that the only reason his four sons are straight “is that they never read children’s books with gay knights in them.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis states that “The decision to remove Prince & Knight from the shelves of the Upshur County Public Library is an act of discrimination, plain and simple. Inclusive children’s books do not ‘indoctrinate’ but do allow LGBTQ families and their children the chance to see themselves reflected in the world.”

Daniel Haack, the author of ‘Prince & Knight’ (as well as coauthoring ‘Maiden & Princess’ with Isabel Galupo) said the book is “meant to be a fun little adventure story that also just happens to better reflect the reality of millions of families not seen in other children’s stories. If the protesters are worried that reading this book will turn someone gay, I can easily refer them to all the gay adults who grew up only reading about straight romances.”

At a meeting of the library board on November 20 the president of the board walked out after several minutes of protest when it became clear that the board would not hear public comment on the banning of the book.

The book’s ultimate fate—whether it is to remain in the children’s section, get moved to the adult section, or get banned entirely—will be decided at a later date.

Until then you can show your support for inclusive storytelling by purchasing your own copy of Daniel Haack’s books, ‘Prince & Knight’, ‘Maiden & Princess’, or other similar titles such as ‘Jack (Not Jackie)’, ‘Our Rainbow’, ‘Except When They Don’t’, ‘Jacob’s New Dress’, ‘The Princess and the Treasure’, and ‘And Tango Makes Three’ just to name a few.

Are there any diverse or inclusive titles you’ve found or read to your kids that positively represent LGBTQ characters? Add them in the comments and I’ll try to update with cover images and links for others to purchase them.

Daniel Haack, Prince & Knight, Stevie LewisDaniel Haack, Isabel Galupo, Maiden & Princess, Becca HumanOur rainbow, Little Bee BooksJack not Jackie, Erica Silverman, holly Hatam Except when they don’t, Laura Gehl, Joshua Heinsz Jacobs new dress, Sarah Hoffman, Ian Hoffman, Chris caseThe princess and the treasure, Jeffrey miles, j.l. PhillipsAnd tango makes three, Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, Henry cole


Also check out Megan Walsh’s article, “The Missing Youth: How Rigid Gender Roles In Children’s Media Leave Many Kids Out of the Picture”

Vinyl Stickers from Society6 Show Off Your Library Love

Book Riot recently featured a collection of library and reading themed stickers to show off your book love, and that reminded me that we also offer all of our library card designs as vinyl stickers at Society6.Our library card stickers are the perfect way to decorate anything from notebooks to laptops, and not only are they available in four sizes, and in both white and transparent backgrounds, but through 11/20 you can save 25% and get free shipping on our stickers and everything else at Society6.

Starting under $3 you can shop our stickers here, or save 25% on any of our great products from phone cases to coffee mugs, tote bags and wrapping paper.

Library Card 5478 / The New Atlantis

img_3085This library card comes from a copy of Francis Bacon’s “Essays and the New Atlantis”, and shows it’s circulation throughout the 1980s.

Bacon is considered the father of empiricism and the scientific method for his position that knowledge can only be based on inductive reasoning and careful observation, with the use of a skeptical and methodical approach.

In addition to his contributions to science, Bacon also donated greatly to libraries, even developing a system of cataloging books by dividing them into three categories and further breaking those down into subjects and subheadings.

In his novel, “The New Atlantis”, Bacon created a utopia which was to represent what he considered the greatest aspects of human civilization; a community based on scientific enlightenment, generosity; in which the collected scientific knowledge was shared equally with all for ultimate betterment of society. At the center of this society was a state-sponsored scientific institution that served as the blueprint for what he considered the ideal college or what we think of today as a scientific research university.

It should be pointed out that due to Bacon’s death in 1626, this novel about the perfect society was left unfinished and its promise unfulfilled. Would the newcomers to this ideal society thrive in their new environment? Or did they represent the corruption of the European state, and would seek to take advantage of the scientific discoveries of Bensalem, to use them for their own gain rather then the greater, societal good, and cause conflict on the island?

Visit our shop on Society6 to see this library card and more on a variety of great products!

 

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