Schools across Texas are dropping Scholastic Book Fairs over the company’s “woke” agenda and are choosing more family-friendly competitors.
The newest entrant into the market, SkyTree Book Fairs, was created “as an alternative to the sexually explicit content distributed in Scholastic’s book fairs.”
Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and has dominated the in-school book fair market for decades.
Over the past several years, Scholastic executives have intentionally pushed books that expose children to sexual content and promote the left’s “LGBTQ” ideology.
In turn, parents concerned about their students’ exposure to age-inappropriate content have pushed school officials to change book fair vendors.
Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District dropped Scholastic last year, after the company refused to provide a list of titles that would be offered to students during a book fair.
This September, Friendswood Christian Preschool canceled a Scholastic book fair over “books that promote and support LBGTQ+ views.”
Lorena ISD in Central Texas made the switch in October. Superintendent Joe Kucera said he informed Scholastic that “we would not work with them for the 2023-2024 school year. … I told them we were going in a different direction.”
Kucera said district administrators dropped Scholastic due to information brought forward by the Salt and Light Council, a Christian grassroots organization that promotes biblical moral values in the public sector.
Members of the group are in their second year of working with Lorena ISD officials to address parents’ concerns and expose inappropriate content in the district’s library materials and classroom curricula.
Heidi Pezdek said her local Salt and Light team “strongly encouraged” Kucera and the curriculum director to discontinue using Scholastic Book Fairs in early 2022.
“Scholastic books went ‘woke’ with an alphabet ideology shift for kids,” said Pezdek. “No longer ABCs, but now SEL, DEI, and LGBT.”
She said the once-favorite resource is now an “indoctrinator of cultural smut.”
Lorena ISD is switching to Literati, a Texas company that last year bought the struggling book fair business of Follett, a top vendor of K-12 school library books and technology.
Pezdek says parents will need to “scrutinize their inventory.”
A selling point of Literati is that schools can exclude books that don’t match their district’s policies or community standards.
Some Keller ISD schools have also switched to Literati. Keller was one of the first Texas school districts to adopt new library policies to protect students from age-inappropriate books, explicit content, and gender ideology.
Another Texas-based alternative to Scholastic is I55 Book Fairs.
The Christian company founded in 2015 promises, “Everything we send to a book fair has been pre-screened to make sure it adheres to biblical principles and values.”
I55 also customizes content for each book fair.
SkyTree Book Fairs is the newest competitor to Scholastic. The nonprofit was founded by parents and school officials, and BRAVE Books author Kirk Cameron is a board advisor.
BRAVE Books is a Texas-based publisher of family-friendly books that teach traditional values and are unabashedly pro-God and pro-America.
Cameron told NewsMax that SkyTree is going to compete with Scholastic and “replace bad books with great books.”
“The real wolf in sheep’s clothing here is the supplier of those books into those libraries and public schools,” he said.
BRAVE Books says Scholastic can no longer be trusted to provide products to kids because its executives promote a woke agenda.
Scholastic has had a dramatic shift in its mission and principles. A company that once promoted good traditional values to children through sweet and fun stories has, over time, replaced those values with an ideology that believes sexual immorality should be fed to young children.
In October, Scholastic began putting books with sexual content into a separate collection so schools could choose to exclude them from their fairs.
Leftist groups raised a stink, calling the move “bigoted,” and Scholastic quickly reversed course.
Scholastic said the move was a response to new state laws restricting sexually explicit content in school libraries—like Texas’ House Bill 900. With provisions of HB 900 set to take effect on January 1, Scholastic will have to adapt or stop offering book fairs in Texas schools.
Whatever book fair providers Texas parents and schools approve, BRAVE Books says one thing remains clear: “Scholastic no longer cares about your children. They care about promoting an ideology that is spiritually, physically, and mentally harmful to your kids.”
“Finally we’ve got an alternative,” said Cameron. “We’ve got to stop complaining and start creating the world we want.”