Children’s Book Banned Over Diversity and Inclusivity

In this day and age, book bans are not uncommon. But now, children’s books are at risk of being banned from school libraries.

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A book chained with a lock

Love Makes a Family, written by Sophie Beer, is a picture book that celebrates diverse family structures and highlights love as the common bond that holds families together.

Different kinds of family structures featured raising their kids
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

However, after a five-year-old from Shady Lane Elementary School in Wisconsin came home with the children’s book, her parents challenged it. They insisted on its removal from the Menomonee Falls School District over its content. The content in question features vibrant illustrations of different family structures, including single parents, same-sex parents, and multigenerational households that share one thing in common: love.

Diverse Family Structures

Not only does this book highlight inclusivity in the different ways families can look, but it also fosters acceptance and understanding from an early age. The picture book introduces children to diverse families that may represent their family structure or normalize families that vary from theirs. Coming from a single-parent household, little me would have been ecstatic to see families that looked like mine having fun together, regardless of their size or shape.

The picture book was published in 2018 and received countless 5-star ratings and reviews across Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookshop. After six strong years of honorable reviews, it came across parents whose sole purpose is to prevent new generations from reading about other representations of families. It’s no question that this book only spreads a simple message of love through various kinds of families and people. 

Book Bans

Although the book was not mandatory and only served as an optional supplemental resource, the committee ultimately voted to remove it from district-wide use. The committee sided with parents who claimed the children’s book showed an ‘inappropriate relationship’. The relationship they claimed was not suitable for children to see was a transgender couple in bed being woken up by their children.

Diverse hands forming a heart
IMAGE VIA CANVA

Supporters of the book’s inclusion, however, argue that Love Makes a Family provides an important representation of the diverse world in which children live. They emphasize that exposure to different family structures fosters acceptance and understanding from an early age. Several parents and educators have voiced their disappointment over the decision, with some planning to appeal the removal. The Menomonee Falls School District has stated that they will review their book selection and removal policies to ensure they reflect the community’s values while also promoting inclusivity and diversity. 

This may seem like a small incident regarding one school district, but it’s just a piece of a larger national debate over what content is deemed appropriate for school libraries. Book bans are steadily making their way across the nation, and this incident is one part of our fight against book bans and their ulterior motives.

Family is Love

So what makes up a family?

One can easily detect that a family is made up of individuals who love each other unconditionally, regardless of their race, sex, age, or size. Because no matter the makeup of one’s family, family truly is love.


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FEATURED IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / DUNIA MATTA