Daily Dispatches
Atheneum Books for Young Readers

California reading list includes LGBT books


In the spirit of the new gay-friendly school curriculum in California, the state has included LGBT-themed books into its updated K-12 recommended reading list. 

For the first time, the Department of Education included winners of the Stonewall Book Awards, which focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature, to the more than 7,800 recommended books. The list is meant to prepare students for college, careers, and a changing world.

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The new recommendations include an activity book for young children about gay-rights activist Harvey Milk. For older students, books like This is J, describe the struggles of a transgender teen, and Totally Joe talks about a boy coming out. 

It also includes a book called De Donde? which gives different reasons for why people come to the United States illegally. 

Expectedly, gay rights groups like Equality California are ecstatic for the adds, yet the Department of Education claims the books were not chosen for their content. 

“It’s mostly based on the quality of the literature,” Lupita Alcala of the Department of Education told ABC News. “It could be non-fiction, fiction, biographies, and poetry. We hope that they actually get excited about reading and writing.”

But Randy Thomasson, the executive director of the pro-family SaveCalifornia.com, believes it is more evidence of leftist educators influencing children at a young age. 

"Your children are not being taught rigorous academics or critical thinking," Thomasson told ABC. “They're being taught social engineering that will hurt them physically and emotionally.”

The list update comes more than a year after the implementation of the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, which requires school textbooks to include the “roles and contribution” of LGBT people throughout history. Some classes have already begun the implementation, although new textbooks for lower grades are unlikely to be complete until 2019.

Last year, an effort to repeal the law through a ballot initiative failed as the Stop SB 48 coalition fell 54,000 signatures short of the 500,000 needed to get the measure on the 2014 ballot.

Angela Lu
Angela Lu

Angela is a reporter for WORLD Magazine who lives and works in Taiwan. She enjoys cooking, reading, and storytelling. Follow Angela on Twitter @angela818.


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