Earlier this year, the American Library Association’s list of 2015 Book and Media Awards winners was proclaimed at the Newbery Caldecott Wilder banquet, creating quite a commotion in children’s lit circles.
As a homeschooler twenty years ago, I was interested to see the new Caldecott selections assuming that they would live up to very high standards of 60 years ago. My book-loving friends and I didn’t question the American Library Association (ALA) “experts”. We were almost too busy to see the sharp decline in wholesome adventure and mental food to inspire a young heart to courageous living. I trusted them and their yardstick for judging children’s literature – but not anymore.
However, bad is not for me to determine. It is for me to increase awareness so conscientious parents can make wise choices.
The ALA does not exist simply to provide quality, wholesome literature to children. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. The ALA is a liberal organization that relentlessly pursues a homosexual agenda, and it relies heavily on “authentic literature” to drive that agenda. (source)
‘Authenticity’ in Caldecott and YA (Young Adult) Books
The ALA has utilized the term “authentic literature” to describe books they feel have “literary merit.” It sounds pretty harmless, but in actuality, it’s a shrewd term misused by the liberal ALA to promote numerous books like This One Summer, a “graphic novel” (aka comic book) written and illustrated by cousins Tamaki. According to them, it’s “quality”…a book they chose to give the highest citation in the literary world, a Caldecott honor.
The ALCS gives the Caldecott Medal “to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children (age 14 and under).”
This is an example of the artwork they are elevating to award status geared for our children under 14! To see ten consecutive pages ending with the image on the right, go here.
In 2008, another book, written by the same cousins, won these awards – given by “experts.” It’s about a depressed, Wicca-worshiping, homosexual high school girl, and according to the ALA, it’s good literature – it’s “authentic literature.”
Outwardly, this book looks totally innocent. With TWO shiny medals on the cover it’s easy to be fooled!
I will spare you the mental images, but suffice it to say that I would need to use a lot of fill-in-the-blank asterisks (*s) in order to be able to write the sampling of words contained.
How many of us well-meaning parents know why these shiny, prestigious medallions were placed on a book’s cover? Would the same parents think highly of these award-winners if they were in on the content taken directly from their amazingly graphic pages?
Steve Baldwin, a former Chairman of the California Legislature’s Education Committee, wasn’t fooled by the ALA’s word games. In his article Baldwin wrote, “The authentic literature books are rife with profanity and are dominated by themes of death, crime, drug addiction, occultism, rapes, gang beatings, weird sex, homosexual encounters, and so on. Shockingly, many of them violate state obscenity laws and even school district age appropriate regulations. I collected excerpts from hundreds of such books that are not only common in school libraries but are often assigned by teachers as mandatory reading assignments.”
Newbery Winners, Too…
Not only YA books are becoming progressively permeated with sexual, brooding, occult, or adult themes, but so are categories for children ages 9-13. (And don’t think younger children aren’t reading these books; they are).
The middle-grade (5 – 8th) Newbery winners of the past fifty years, like this one, this one, this one, and this one, have garnered their own share of praise simply for blazing the trail in literary edginess. In order to ‘keep the children reading’, they’re offering something ‘bold’ and ‘up-to-date’ in tween literature. There is talk of witchcraft, specifics of private parts, and so much more.
Increasingly, this smutty literature is replacing the traditional literature classics, which, in general, promoted mainstream American values or at least didn’t undermine them.
“No book is really worth reading, which does not either impart valuable knowledge; or set before us some ideal of beauty, strength, or nobility of character. There are enough great books to occupy us during all our short and busy years. If we are wise, we will resolutely avoid all but the richest and the best.” ~J.R. Miller
Ways To Evaluate A Book
Please take the time to preview the books your children will be reading. Know what they are being made to read in their classroom if you public school. You, after all, are the best judge for your own family.
Sarah Clarkson’s 384 page Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families is chock-full of more than 1,000 wonderful book recommendations for young people. Included are timeless classics, modern favorites, picture books, adventure novels, and read-aloud favorites. Also, my friend Hilary over at Wholesome Reads has lots of reviews in many different categories.
Hopefully, we are all aware that there is a battle raging in our culture for the minds and hearts of our children, but how do we as parents prepare them to live in the world and be discerning for themselves?
Read Great Books
(Dear readers, I would like to make an appeal. There are affiliate links in this post. If there is any way possible for you to use the links, it would be a blessing. It would help to cover some of the time it takes to write this free resource. All the links on this website are for products that I feel are wholesome and helpful. I would share these links for purposes of encouraging families even if not an affiliate. I sincerely thank you!)
There are just too many great books to waste our children’s time and hearts on those other “award winners.” Our family’s guide has been and always will be Philippians 4:8. Champion and uphold what is right and true. Great books create an inner world that is a secret world for children’s souls, showing them through thrilling stories and stout-hearted characters exactly what it means to be noble, good, and even holy.
All the award winners published before 1960 display excellence in content and literary merit.
Have you thought about bad books from your library or in your school?
Were you aware of this trend?
“There are few very libraries today in which I would leave my 13-year-old unescorted, because, unfortunately, the protection and safety of our children is simply no longer a priority for libraries or for the ALA. That may sound harsh, but it’s true.” ~Steve Baldwin
- Parents Protest American Library Association’s ‘Censorship’
- American Library Association’s Not-So-Hidden Gay Agenda
- Character-Building Book Resources For Raising Boys, Part 1
- Character-Building Book Resources For Raising Girls
- 25 Beloved, Time-Tested Read-Alouds For Young Children
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