A children’s book about a pair of siblings reading books together was flagged for removal from an Alabama library because of the author’s last name, AL.com reported.
The author of Read Me a Story, Stella is named Marie-Louise Gay. The book was added to a list of potentially “sexually explicit” books to be take out from the children’s section of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HCPL) system, according to AL.com’s report.
“Although it is obviously laughable that our picture book shows up on their list of censored books simply because the author’s last name is Gay, the ridiculousness of that fact should not detract from the seriousness of the situation,” said Gay’s publicist Kirsten Brassard.
“This proves, as always, that censorship is never about limiting access to this book or that one. It is about sending the message to children that certain ideas—or even certain people—are not worthy of discussion or acknowledgement or consideration,” Brassard said. “This is a hateful message in a place like a public library, where all children are meant to feel safe, and where their curiosity about the world is meant to be nurtured.”
HCPL executive director Cindy Hewitt acknowledged that “Read Me a Story, Stella” should not have been put on the list and was only flagged because of the keyword “gay.”
“Obviously, we’re not going to touch that book for any reason,” Hewitt said.
Read the full report over at AL.com.