Saturday, January 01, 2011

Veteran Book Reviewer Protests ALA Youth Media Award for Books Advocating Homosexuality

Veteran Book Reviewer Protests American Library Association
Youth Media Award for Books Advocating Homosexuality
Bookviews Editor, Alan Caruba, Says Genre is Harmful to Society

A charter member of the National Book Critics Circle and editor of Bookviews, a monthly Internet report about new fiction and non-fiction, Alan Caruba has issued a protest of the forthcoming American Library Association Youth Media Award called The Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award for books that focus on homosexuality and bisexuality.

In the January edition of the Bookviews section devoted to books for children and young adult readers, Caruba includes a protest of the awards, the winners of which will be announced on January 10th.

Caruba took issue with the ALA statement that said, “The demand for quality gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) children’s books continues to grow as the nation becomes more diverse and the ALA will be awarding a young adult book that brings these issues to the forefront.”

“I would argue that the nation is not becoming ‘more diverse’ when it comes to fundamental moral values,” said Caruba, adding that “I regard this award as harmful to a society being harangued to accept homosexuality as ‘normal’.”

Caruba went on to say, “I long have had a problem with books claiming unscientifically and falsely that the Earth is either experiencing “global warming” or will be. This hoax was discredited in 2009”, said Caruba, referring to the release of emails between key scientists who are alleged to have manipulated climate data.

“Like environmentalism, much of whose claims are baseless,” said Caruba, “homosexuality is being pushed on children as an acceptable, alternative lifestyle. I do not believe most parents want their children to be exposed to such advocacy.”

The ALA is well known for its nearly twenty annual awards that include the Randolph Caldecott, John Newbery, and Coretta Scott King awards. “I was frankly unaware of the Stonewall Award,” said Caruba.

When the National Book Critics Circle was founded in April 1974, Caruba was among the first reviewers to be invited to join. He is also a longtime member of the American Society of Journalists and Author, formerly the Society of Magazine Writers. Since 1979 he has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been a longtime member of the National Association of Science Writers as well.

“I believe there is something particularly insidious concerning books for children about homosexual and other aberrant lifestyles. It is, as often as not, advocacy, not of so-called ‘diversity’, but of a critical choice a child might make regarding his or her own sexual orientation,” says Caruba.

“It is a subject that should be entirely the decision and under the control of parents, not teachers, and not librarians.”

Caruba has been writing Bookviews in one form or another for more than forty years since his days as a journalist when he syndicated it as a column. Later Bookviews became a newsletter and, with the advent of the Internet, it became a site that was later converted to a blog.

He resides at the Gaslight Commons in South Orange, N.J. These days he is best known as a daily commentator on headline issues that include politics, science, national security, energy and others. Drawn frp, his blog, “Warning Signs”, he is a daily contributor to and his commentaries are widely disseminated on many leading news and opinion websites and blogs.


The text of the ALA news release below

ALA adds GLBT youth literature award to prestigious
Youth Media Award announcements

CHICAGO – As the publishing industry prepares for the announcement of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Youth Media Awards, authors and illustrators of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) literature for youth will have their fingers crossed in hopes of receiving the coveted Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award.

The Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award joins the ALA Youth Media Award announcements, which include such prominent literary prizes as the Coretta Scott King Book Award, John Newbery Medal, Michael Printz Award, Randolph Caldecott Medal, Schneider Family Book Awards and 13 other distinguished awards for youth literature.

The award is administered by the ALA’s Stonewall Book Awards Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table and is awarded annually to English-language works for children and teens of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience.

“Children’s books regarding the GLBT experience are critical tools in teaching tolerance, acceptance and the importance of diversity,” said ALA President Roberta Stevens. “Our nation is one of diverse cultures and lifestyles and it is important for parents, educators and librarians to have access to quality children’s books that represent a spectrum of cultures.”

The demand for quality GLBT children’s books continues to grow as the nation becomes more diverse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services an estimated 14 million children have a gay or lesbian parent, and the most current U.S. Census data shows that one-third of female partner households and one-fifth of male partner households contain children.

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media. The members of the 2011 Stonewall
Book Awards Committee are: Chair Lisa Johnston, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, Va..; W. Stephen Breedlove, Connelly Library, La Salle University, Philadelphia; Amanda Clay, Lakeview Elementary School, Norman, Okla.; Dave Combe, Ventura County Library, Ventura, Calif.; Lewis Day, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; Sharon Flesher-Duffy, Nashua High School Media Center, Nashua, N.H.; Roland Hansen, Columbia College Library, Chicago.; Analisa Ornelas, Innovative Interfaces, San Francisco; Stephen Patrick, Jonesborough, Tenn.; Jason Phillips, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; Roseann Szalkowski, Skokie Public Library, Skokie, Ill.; Gypsey Teague, Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.; Corwin Watts, Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, Neb.; and Rose Yndigoyen, St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, N.Y.

For information on the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit

1 comment:

Doug Taylor said...

No wonder the South lost the war, with websites like this, is it any wonder the Union freed the slaves if only to protect them from the intolerance of ignorance (otherwise, in latter days, referred to as...You). You glorify (rightfully) in your opening about the 1st amendment and freedom of speech. Then you turn around and protest the ALA for allowing and promoting books for children about homosexuality. I am a member of the ALA and a librarian. We buy books written by people like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter as well. And we don't protest the content of these books, even though there is ample to protest about. Its because the ALA truly promotes freedom of speech and press.
Diversity goes hand in hand with tolerance. This IS what the 1st amendment is all about.So what you say and what you truly believe are two different things. One is based on fairness, the other on an agenda. But more to your arrogant and misguided opinion about books on gay and lesbian life being influential on a child's sexual choice in the future.
Can you tell me the exact date and time you chose to be heterosexual (if, indeed you are)? I can't. I just know that I have always preferred the ladies. I didn't sit down one day and decide, "let's see. i think I'm going to be a heterosexual".
So this fiction about choice is just that. It is an orientation that comes with birth. Get your head out of your ass (and I use that term as a metaphor for the Bible)and get with reality.Because, otherwise, like the "Left Behind" series by Tim and your Bronze Age ilk from the Bible Belt are going to be left behind in the modern era.