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“Children's Books Don’t have Porn in them,”


A graphic that has a green boarder and a white interior that represents a faux computer screen.

This post is Level 2: "I'm Cringing Inside"

Warning that the descriptions of what the book included may be upsetting.

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"Children's books don't have porn in them" is a common argument when one brings up the fact that children's and teen's books have been infiltrated with sexual content. However, this argument is plainly false, and any quick Google search would debunk this statement. Below is a compiled list of some of the School boards and books that have been asked to be taken from school libraries for sexually explicit content.


Reported instances of Porn in School Libraries


Virginia Fairfax County

This school board was asked to pull two books: Lawn Boy, “…an illustrated memoir, contains explicit illustrations of oral sex and masturbation…” and Gender Queer, “…contains graphic descriptions of sex between men and children.”

The mother, who originally read this material to the school board, was asked to stop because it was inappropriate for a public setting. Initially, the board took the books off the shelves only to instate a committee that put both books back on the school library shelves.

Indiana Carmel Clay

Parents stood up against sexually explicit books that were available to kindergarteners! Quoting, “If I were to read it to you, you would not be able to air it because it would be against FCC obscenity laws.” Once cameras were off parents read said books and, “…everyone was uncomfortable-and these were adults.”

No reported action was taken.

Texas Leander Independent School District

A mom stood up against a school-recommended list for student-led book clubs. Some of the books included were Dream House, “…a very detailed memoir about a violent same-sex relationship.” and Lolita, “…is a 1950s-era book about a 37-year-old man’s obsessions and inappropriate relations with a 12-year-old girl.”

In response, a petition was signed.

Nevada Clark County

This school district has books like The Night when No One Had Sex, On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God, and Sex and Violence. Also, a title from Planned Parenthood called “Questions About Sex from Young People with Answers from the Experts.” Which gives “…nonjudgmental (and fun!) answers.” All of these books are available to middle schoolers and the district has no plans to take action against the material.

Maine

An eleven-year-old boy named Knox Zajac stood before a school board in Maine and read aloud a paragraph of a book titled Nick and Charlie. He found the book in his school library, and when he went to check it out, the school librarian asked if he wanted the “graphic novel version.”

The boy reads a paragraph that describes the two underage characters experimenting sexually with each other.

Michigan Dearborn Public Schools

A mom quickly realized what her kids were being was not what she thought. She began looking into her children's school library and was horrified to find books like “This Book is Gay,” and other titles. Later, she made a statement saying, “Title IX does not say you need to be sex books on shelves. That’s not representing LGBTQ… No kid should be represented as some sexual creature. I don’t care, be it homosexual or heterosexual. It’s not okay. They’re kids.” The district says they are working on implementing “…a fair process in place that protects the rights of everyone, and we feel that is exactly what we have done.”


These are simply a few of the stories that one can find of articles detailing the fight in School Districts over sexually explicit books. What is not included is the scenes that they read from the books above, which are detailed and unnecessarily graphic for books that are children’s libraries.

The argument that is sparked from stories like this is: Is this supporting banning books?


Banning Books

This subject can raise the hairs on the back of people’s necks, and rightfully so. Who doesn’t think of the Nazi’s bonfires, where they would burn banned books late in the night. It can feel like a gag on the mouth of writers and bound wrists to that of thinkers. So, is the answer that simple? No, we should never ban books. Well, no, the answer, like almost everything, has more nuance. The overall precedent of banning books is wrong and violates a fundamental right we have as individuals, and that is free speech. Now, said the speech should be responsible speech as was intended when the First Amendment was written. However, some books, like those with explicit scenes, should not be in the hands of children.

Just like with any art, some pieces are strictly for adults. It would be like arguing an R-rated movie belongs in a middle school. So, banning books on a national level is infringing on basic rights. Not allowing certain books in schools is not banning books; simply protecting children from things they cannot fully understand.

Books with lurid, pornographic content have no necessity for their education. And no, these books were not giving factual information, sex-ed type information. The books give detailed descriptions of sexual encounters that children should not have access to.

Not only are these book oversexualizing minors, but it also strips kids of innocence and the processes of growing up. It gives children unrealistic, sometimes twisted ideas of what sex and relationships are supposed to look like, often promoting actions that children should not be doing themselves.


But there is hope!

Every time we read stories like these, it can feel incredibly disheartening that no good books exist, which is not the case! So here are some amazing (clean) series and books that kids, teenagers, and even adults will love!

(HUGE thank you to all of our community who submitted what some of their favorite childhood books were)

  1. The Rangers Apprentice Series - This series is not extensive but beloved by those who read it. They are full of adventure, good vs. evil, honor, and just everything a classic child fantasy series should include. To add to the fun, there are also spin-off series.

  2. Keeper of the Lost Cities - This series is full of friendship, mystery, intrigue, secret societies, magical schools, elves, and so much more. While the recommended age range is middle grade, this addictive series will pull in even an adult with its detailed world-building and complex themes.

  3. The Prince Warriors - This is a Christian fantasy option for parents looking to start a conversation about spiritual warfare. This trilogy is full of mystery, humor, and page-turning action for kids and tweens looking for an adventure that explores Christian themes and realities.

  4. The Land of Stories - This series takes a unique look at the fairytales we all know and love. They are full of healthy sibling relationships, adventure, friendship, good vs. evil, and so much more. These books will awaken a child’s imagination and make them dream of fairytales and more.

  5. Prisoners of Thornbrill - A book filled with sibling relationships, dragons, portals, unicorns, and more than this book may be right for you. Reminiscent of adventure books from the past, Prisoners of Thornbrill offers an exciting option for teens and parents looking for a safe, clean, but thrilling adventure. This book is approved by #ProtectCleanFiction

  6. Ella Enchanted - While this is a classic, it bears repeating since it is well-beloved by its readers and is such a fun adventure for kids and adults alike. Who doesn’t love a story with ogres, princes, step-mothers, fairy godmothers, and wicked step-sisters? The answer is a dull person!

  7. A Wrinkle in Time- This series is a classic, full of family, magic, and just a little strangeness. It is recommended to be screened by parents before giving to easily spooked kids since some scenes can be considered scary by younger audiences. But if you have children who love adventure with a hint of spookiness, this story may be just up their alley.

  8. The False Prince - This book is full of political intrigue, treachery, danger, orphans, and truth being revealed in the end. This story is perfect for someone looking for a fast-paced royal fantasy.

  9. Anne of Green Gables - This story of an orphan redhead going and living with siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert is such a beloved, adorable classic it is not worth mentioning. A story of strong friendship, finding family, and growing up, Green Gables will taste like coming home.

  10. The Dragonkeeper Chronicles - A classic-style fantasy that will keep its readers young and old will love these books. They are full of dragons, quests, wizards, and Christian symbolism, which will keep readers of fantasy turning pages long into the night.

  11. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - It is a historical fiction piece which is set in Salem, Massachusetts, during the Witch Trials. This book discusses the price of education, family, and growing up in this place and setting. It is an excellent book for parents wishing to provide a fun and educational book. Or for any historical fiction enthusiasts.

  12. The Unwanted’s - Perfect for kids looking for adventure, friendship, magical school settings, and an interesting world. This series not only has multiple books but also has a spin-off series, which will keep any voracious reader appeased.

  13. Talon - A fantasy dystopian book for teens looking for friendships that act like family, bold characters willing to stand for freedom and truth, and Biblical themes. This book is approved by #ProtectCleanFiction

  14. The Hobbit - It would not be a list of amazing books for kids without including The Hobbit, and its classic romp all over Middle-earth with Bilbo Baggins as he finds the courage within himself to do what’s right. This fast book that provides a new challenge in every chapter will keep all age groups entertained and on the edge of their seats.

  15. The Wingfeather Saga - Full of adventure, family values, peculiar animals like a “toothy cow,” and poems and songs filtered throughout, it’s guaranteed to be a rocking good time with kids and adults alike.

There are so many amazing recommendations for fantastic books for kids and teens; we would love to hear some of your favorites!



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