"Luv Ya Bunches" is about four elementary school girls who are all named after flowers. That's all they have in common. And they're not friends. At least, not yet. It's the first in a four book series.
But because one of the girls, Milla, has two moms, Scholastic won't carry it at their school book fairs. Here's more from the School Library Journal article:
The company sent a letter to Myracle's editor asking the author to omit certain words such as "geez," "crap," "sucks," and "God" (as in, "oh my God") and to alter its plotline to include a heterosexual couple. Myracle agreed to get rid of the offensive language "with the goal—as always—of making the book as available to as many readers as possible," but the deal breaker was changing Milla's two moms.
"A child having same-sex parents is not offensive, in my mind, and shouldn't be 'cleaned up.'" says Myracle, adding that the book fair subsequently decided not to take on Luv Ya Bunches because they wanted to avoid letters of complaint from parents. "I find that appalling. I understand why they would want to avoid complaint letters—no one likes getting hated on—but shouldn't they be willing to evaluate the quality of the complaint? What, exactly, are children being protected against here?"
Scholastic made a further statement, saying that they didn't really CENSOR the book because it's available via their book clubs. Um... You said you'd include it in the fairs IF the author changed the two mom family to a mom and dad family. She refused. You decided not to carry it in the fairs. That sounds like censorship to me.
“Authors are often given the opportunity to make changes in the books to meet the norms of the various communities that host the fairs,”
And all this was becauase Scholastic was afraid of complaints? Well here's mine to Richard Robinson, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Scholastic.
I am so disappointed that Scholastic refused to carry Lauren Myracle's "Luv Ya Bunches" in your school book fairs solely due to one of the main characters having two moms.
As the child of a two dad family herself, my daughter won't have a chance to buy that book when the book fair comes to her school. She won't have that moment of affirmation, in front of her friends and peers - wow, there's a girl in this book who has two Moms, which is sort of like my two Dad family!
I am so profoundly disappointed in your company's decision. The school library journal article cited your concern that if you carried the book in the fair, then you might get parents writing you to complain.
Well please consider this unhappy parent's complaint. In effect, you are censoring out families like mine from representation in your fair, and that is very upsetting.
I hope you reconsider your position, and not only include "Love Ya Bunches" in your school book fairs, but affirm your support of ALL families - including those with two moms and two dads, like mine.
You said in an interview on the Scholastic website that Scholastic aims to "Align your talents and desires to what society needs" - well, society needs to move forward, and books can help in that. Books can help normalize the reality of kids' lives today - and the reality is that there are hundreds of thousands of children being raised by two dad and two mom families. Scholastic has a chance to be a leader on this. I hope you take it.
And here's my letter to the author:
I am so deeply deeply proud of you for not backing down to the pressure to change Milla's parents to a straight couple in order to get "Love Ya Bunches" accepted into the Scholastic School Book Fairs.
My daughter has two Dads, and the thought of her excitement at being able to buy your book at the book fair - a book where there's a character who has two moms, which is pretty close to her having two dads, in that it's different from what most of her peer's families look like - is heady. What a shame that Scholastic is so concerned with offending people, and are afraid of the truth of the "norm" shifting. Because they have surely offended me and hundreds of thousands of parents like me.
Again, congratulations on leading with your heart and your conscience. With your standing your ground for families like mine, you have made many new fans - including me!
Wanna write scholastic a letter, and share with them what YOU think?
You can send it from their customer service website.
Want to support the author?
Buy her book, "Luv Ya Bunches"
and write her here.
And if you do write letters of complaint and support, I'd love for you to copy your letters here in comments!