I am Ruby Bridges for children authored by Ruby Bridges herself, and Because of You, John Lewis by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Scholastic To Stop Segregating ‘Diverse’ Books Following Extreme Backlash

Ongoing book banning fervor across the United States is affecting the landscape of Scholastic Book Fairs. Books that tackle race, as well as the LGBTQ+ community, are often the target of this censorship under the guise of “mature themes,” and Scholastic has now rolled back their misguided solution.

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Scholastic Trade Publishing, the company heading these book fairs, had to take a step back back and cancel the “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” collection this coming January 24 after being criticized for segregating books, which allowed bigoted school officials to easily cut these books out. Many educators spoke out and were not pleased by this decision from the publishing giant, since the collection had books by notable civil rights activists such as Ruby Bridges. The collection lumped all the segregated books that discussed LGBTQ+ content and race-related topics into one umbrella of “diversity.” The company’s president, Ellie Berger, apologized despite having good intentions upon making this call.

Because books are getting banned left and right in some states, Scholastic made the decision to make the “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” collection optional for some states facing local content restrictions. Initially, putting the books under “diverse titles” was conceived as a way for the company to accommodate educators subject to states so that Scholastic could continue operating book fairs in their schools. Part of the problem with making some of these books optional under the classification is that it allows schools to opt out of a whole range of books that might not be affected by the ban in that state.

Despite rolling back this decision to separate stories and books about LGBTQ+ people and people of color, Scholastic Trade Publishing hasn’t offered an alternative course of action after their decision to rescind their initial plan. The company clarified its stance and expressed its concern over the increasing censorship of books and found the current state of affairs surrounding books as “unsettling.” In a statement about the decision, Berger said that the current political landscape “is creating an environment that could deny any child access to books, or that teachers could be penalized for creating access to all stories for their students.”

(featured image: Orchard Books/Scholastic Press)

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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.