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Non-binary children’s book author angered by ‘parental rights’ movement

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The parental rights movement has caused the anger of one author of a controversial children’s book to speak out. 

Alex Gino, who identifies as non-binary and uses “they/them” pronouns, did an interview with Yahoo News to discuss families pushing back on books they deemed inappropriate for minors. 

Gino’s book “Melissa” chronicles a fourth-grade girl named Melissa who is struggling to be herself. While Melissa identifies as female, the rest of the world sees Melissa as a boy. 

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Alex Gino, who identifies as non-binary and uses “they/them” pronouns, had an interview with Yahoo News to discuss families pushing back on books deemed inappropriate for minors.  (Screenshot/ YouTube)

The book, which was published in 2015, won several awards and was renamed “Melissa” from its original title “George” in 2021. On Amazon.com, it states the book is for grades 3-7.

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Gino addressed outraged parents that have spoken out at school board meetings across the country against school COVID mandates and books they deemed inappropriate for their kids. 

“Parental rights really anger me, because what about human rights? People who are under 18 are human,” Gino told Yahoo News. “And if you are keeping information about the world from young people, you are leaving them less prepared to learn how to be in the world.” 

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According to the American Library Association [ALA], Gino’s book “Melissa” made the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom’s most challenged books in 2022.

Books in library

A new report shows that nearly 1,500 books were banned in the first half of the 2022-2023 school year. According to PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans lists, there were 1,477 instances of individual books banned during the first half of the 2022-23 school year.  ( Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The ALA said that the book has been “challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting ‘the values of our community.’”

Gino was asked to explain what is the motive behind books being challenged.

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“I think it is fear that looks like anger. I think it is a fear of adults generally. Adults are not great at knowing what’s in the world. Kids are great at it. Kids are constantly learning what’s in the world and taking on new ideas,” Gino said.

“If my book is going to get challenged, that to me is a sign that there are more stories that I need to write. And so I’m writing now about queer and trans kids who don’t just exist but who know each other and who have community and who get to thrive,” Gino continued. “If they’re going to say, ‘Don’t do it,” then I better not tell myself not to do it. I better do it more.”

Gino did not immediately respond for comment.

Parent Rally

Recently, outraged parents have spoken out at school board meetings across the U.S. against COVID mandates, books they deemed inappropriate for children, and critical race theory. (Courtesy of Becket)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, parents got a closer look at what is happening in their child’s schools, which caused many of them to speak out against certain books and curriculum being taught. Critics of these parents argue they are censoring children and pushing to erase LGBTQ and other minority identies from schools. 

A report shows that nearly 1,500 books were banned in the first half of the 2022-2023 school year. According to PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans lists, there were 1,477 instances of individual books banned during the first half of the 2022-23 school year. 

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Source: Fox News

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