Six Books Called Out As "Not Age Appropriate" By Harford County Board Of Education Vice President
HARFORD COUNTY - At a recent Harford County Board of Education meeting, Board Vice President Melissa Hahn identified six books available in county schools that have received backlash from some parents due to their content and themes.
The discussion arose after residents expressed concerns over a new book review committee introduced during the September 11th board meeting. At the meeting, school representatives clarified that the committee's role is not to review specific books but to evaluate the system's process for assessing and obtaining reading materials.
The books highlighted by Vice President Hahn on September 18 include "Gender Queer," "Flamer," "Lawn Boy," "All Boys Aren't Blue," "A is for Activist," and "Let's Talk About It: The Teen's Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human." Most of these titles address topics related to the LGBTQIA+ community and gender identity.
"We're not trying to ban books; we want materials in our schools to be educational and age-appropriate," Hahn said.
From July 2021 to December 2022, "Gender Queer" was banned in 56 school districts nationwide, according to PEN America. Additionally, "Lawn Boy" experienced challenges in at least 35 districts, with both books also challenged in Carroll County Public School libraries last August.
Here's a brief overview of the books:
- Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe is an autobiographical memoir delving into the author's experiences of self-discovery, coming out, and confronting personal challenges.
- Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison is about a young man's pursuit of the American dream and self-realization amidst numerous setbacks.
- Let's Talk About It is a guide addressing relationships, gender, sexuality, and more, presented in a graphic novel format.
- All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson consists of personal essays reflecting on the author's life and experiences as a queer man of color.
- Flamer by Mike Curato is a graphic novel depicting a young boy's summer of self-discovery and acceptance.
- A is for Activist is an ABC board book that introduces young readers to concepts of activism, civil rights, and social justice.
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