Tomorrow is the Ludington Area School District's (LASD) September meeting (agenda packet here), which reminds me of the prior meeting where the Mason County District Library's (MCDL's) own Emily Garland offered a presentation on the Unbound program telling us how great of a resource it was when looking up stories on horses and dragons and other things kids love and having them delivered to the school in flashy green packages with their name thereon.
While looking solely at the young children's section of books offered (available to kindergarteners to fourth graders), she assured the board that there was no age-inappropriate material available to impressionable elementary students. A glance through the colorful category icons surely gave that impression. When she received token challenges from the board about materials that may be objectionable, she indicated that there may be some material in the 'older kid' section that may challenge older children, but indicated there was nothing any scarier to concerned adults than books on ghosts and pirates.
This sentiment (seen below) was sent out by the MCDL Director Eric Smith to LASD's parents to salve any misconceptions they might have about thinking that either the library, school, or both were trying to harm their child's psyche or even groom them for a lifestyle that might not fit in with their child's inclinations or their values. But there is something scary in the kids' catalog and it's courtesy of the scary-looking individual above, known as Alex Gino.
If you have not opted-out of the Unbound program and not opted out of the parental notification feature you may get an indication that your child has received a book through the Unbound program -- but not have any idea what they checked out unless your child decides to tell you. This is where Alex Gino comes in. He is an author of children's books starting with his premiere effort in 2015 called George. This book was critically acclaimed for several years before the author decided to retitle the book as Melissa, since he and others decided a deadname was not appropriate as a title.
If you have no idea what a 'deadname' is, it's effectively the original birth name of a person who has mentally identified as the opposite sex and adopted a new name. In the book, George, a young boy, believes he is a young girl named Melissa. If this is confusing to you as it is to me, just consider how confusing it is to a five-year-old child whose lack of self-awareness at that age may have them think of themselves as a pirate, a ballet dancer, an astronaut, or cowhand over the course of a week. If you haven't figured it out yet, Melissa is in the kids' section of the Unbound program, as seen below:
The description of Melissa reads as follows: ""When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all" --"
It doesn't seem like a description of a book that led the list of most challenged library book for the years of 2018-2020, after being only in the top ten list its first years. But it contains themes that seem controversial even when you consider its target audience is middle school students. We cannot cover all of what's in the 195 pages of this chapter book, but here are a few things which a concerned parent might find troubling and a kindergartener-4th grader may find confusing:
George's brother, p. 8: "I bet you are looking at a magazine in there, that's my bro growing up and looking at dirty magazines".
George thinks of kissing a boy, the thought gives her a tingle (p. 33)
George sees an interview on tv about a transgender. George sees and thinks that a boy can become a girl if they take hormones to change their body and get a bunch of surgeries if they have the money. It's called transgendering. You can take androgen blockers to prevent you from turning manlike. (nothing about the risks involved, p. 48)
Talk of how to clear browser histories, so that parents won't find out you're looking for ways to transition yourself or do what they may consider inappropriate (p. 104)
George's mom realizes he's transgender and talks about not wanting him in her closet trying on her clothes (p. 128)
George's brother to George: " so you think you want to go all the way?" His fingers gesturing in a scissor motion. (indicating removal of his male part, p. 141)
George decides with an accepting friend to go ahead and dress like a girl to an outing. (p. 176)
George (Melissa) uses a girls bathroom for the 1st time (p. 192)
Other passages of Melissa (George):
She immersed her body in the in the warm water and tried not to think about what was between her legs, but there it was, bobbing in front of her.
Nothing makes her more uncomfortable than when boys talked about what was in her underpants.
What she has between her legs was nobody’s business but hers and her boyfriend.
She would do cartwheels leaving her pink underwear showing.
She lifted her skirt to see her underwear, covered in tiny red hearts, she pulled it down, sat and peed, just like a girl.
So maybe your kindergarten child checks out this oversexualized Scholastic book on their own, or maybe a teacher directs them to check this book out. What's stopping their teacher from reading the book to the class due to their opinions on inclusivity and against homophobia and in doing so, cover the various themes in the book that most children would have little understanding of and many parents would be aghast at? By having this title in the MCDL's kids' section, published by Scholastic, and approved by the LASD and other area schools, why would teachers think the book was inappropriate for your children to listen to? Below is a read-aloud of the book in multiple parts. Youtube will direct you to the next part, see whether you think the book is fare for the very young.
If you believe that this book should be read to and by young school-aged children, or not, please offer your thoughts in the comments. Please let the school board know whether you think other books like Melissa should be made available to your innocent and impressionable child by the district library and the school district.
I only had to watch a small part of the first video to get the picture of what the book is about. I find that a huge problem with all of this wokism and transgender confusion is the teachers. The videos and teachers who are pushing this drivel all seem so nice and caring and project enthusiasm for the twisted lessons they are indoctrinating the children with. So the kids naturally listen to them and trust them. The children's parents, on the other hand, have to trust that their kids are not being emotionally and mentally abused by these disturbed teachers. Nobody should be indoctrinating kids into any type of sexual instructions. It's not the schools place. This type of life style education and information must come from the parents if they deem it necessary for their kids to know. These people are slugs. They may have an alternative life style and they are free to pursue it but they cannot be allowed access to the children. Notice that all of these books involve homosexual content not heterosexual content. Every thing that children read must be approved by their parents. Everything! Teachers who introduce this kind of material to children without written approval from parents should be fired.
I included the video of the book primarily because the full book is not available on the internet, so that the reader can make their own judgment (as you have). One thing you notice is that you don't find a lot of books depicting graphic heterosexual activity in the sections available in the youth sections, but obviously the ones trumpeting the LGBTQ+ lifestyles, lifestyles defined by sex and gender, go out of their way to introduce sexual/gender themes and attempt to normalize them to the reader. Young children do not need this in their school education, just like they don't need to read Penthouse forums or racy Harlequin romances, which aren't available at the library even when this stuff is to all school age kids.
This material appears to be part of an agenda for recruiting a wider audience for the LGBTQ+ crowd, and if they don't want folks to use therapy to convert LGBTQ+ into 'normal' heterosexuals, they should be against this conversion scheme doing the reverse.