Scholastic Book Fairs’ new diversity opt-in comes under fire

Scholastic Book Fairs’ new diversity opt-in comes under fire


Scholastic Book Fairs’ new diversity opt-in comes under fire

Oct 17 2023

Scholastic has responded to accusations of censorship at its book fairs stemming from the creation of a new diverse stories offering, called “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice,” which librarians and school officials hosting fairs must decide whether to offer or not.

In a statement late last week, Scholastic said that it created the collection for U.S. elementary school book fairs as a way to continue providing diverse books, as a number of states and localities pursue legislation or other policies around content selection that could put librarians and school officials in jeopardy.

“There is now enacted or pending legislation in more than 30 U.S. states prohibiting certain kinds of books from being in schools—mostly LGBTQIA+ titles and books that engage with the presence of racism in our country,” the company said late last week. “Because Scholastic Book Fairs are invited into schools, where books can be purchased by kids on their own, these laws create an almost impossible dilemma: back away from these titles or risk making teachers, librarians, and volunteers vulnerable to being fired, sued, or prosecuted.”

Among the 64 books in the Share Every Story case are the picture books Change Sings by poet Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long, Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall, and disability-positive titles You Are Enough and You Are Loved, by Margaret O’Hair and Sonia Sanchez, illustrated by Sofia Cardoso. Graphic novels in the set include Booked by Kwame Alexander, Freestyle by Gale Galligan, The Tryout by Christine Soontornvat, and Parachute Kids by Betty Tang.

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