For years, one of my interests has been alerting parents to what is in teen books these days. The majority of young adult fiction is full of pornography, leftist political indoctrination, vulgarity, weird sexual degeneracy and anti-religious dogma. YA fiction has slid way past the inappropriateness of Judy Blume novels and has ended in a dumpster fire hurtling straight toward hell at five hundred miles per hour. I wish for the days when all you had to worry about your kid finding in the kids’ section was a novel about periods or losing their virginity. Now, if it isn’t gay, it doesn’t get any play.
Perusing the library shelves in my little rural hamlet, you’d think that our town was located in the heart of Boystown in a big blue city somewhere. I chose a few books on the “New Teen Books” display and a few more from other displays in the area that were all chosen by librarians to highlight for your kids. Five books made it to my table. I did not read any back covers before choosing them but selected them randomly. Four out of five of them were about the LGBTQWTF cult. None of them were appropriate for young readers. Here is a summary of the books the ALA and local libraries are pushing on your kids with displays like this:
Hold Me Closer by David Levithan, (2015)
Hold Me Closer is written like a Broadway musical. If the idea of reading a musical doesn’t sound appealing, the reality is even less so. From chapter titles like “The Ballad of the Lesbian Babysitter,” you can imagine how nauseating this book is. It begins with a list of characters, including someone named Coach Frye, who is described as a “homophobic jerkface.” The main character sings the tune of unscientific nonsense in his opening song: “I was born this way.” The lyrics go, “I’ve got brown hair, big hips and green, green eyes, and when I grow up, I’m gonna make out with guys, guys, guys!” Too bad for him that science can prove no such thing.
In another song, called “Oh! What a Big Gay Baby,” the lyrics get even weirder. “He prefers hot male nurses and cries at ugly purses, has a booty and knows how to shake it, has a pacifier and loves to take it.” I guess that’s okay if you’re the kind of person who thinks sexualizing babies is funny. There are the usual anti-Christian bigotry and vulgar language I’ve come to expect in teen fiction, not to mention the introduction of terms like “Red Bull dyke,” “leather daddies,” and “Dykes on Bikes.” That should make for fun dinner conversation with your twelve-year-old. Lurid references to masturbation are, of course, everywhere. For example, on page 54 it says: “I dream of boys, I fantasize about boys. When I jerk off, I think of boys.” This guy is a regular Geoffrey Chaucer!
Then, of course, there’s the normalization and positive thoughts on pornography for the youngsters. “I download porn on the family computer, but I burn it to a disk so it won’t actually be on the hard drive” (page 55). Thanks for the tips, weirdo.
Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell (2019)
I got as far as page one before I saw the word “f*ck” and decided I didn’t want to scan this one. I did look it up on Common Sense Media instead.
Parents need to know that the fantasy Wayward Son is a sequel to the popular Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Reading Carry On first is recommended to help understand the characters and events that got them to where they are when this story opens. The main characters are now college age, living on their own in London, in their late teens and early 20s. Most of the violence involves fantasy creatures and magicians, with injuries and blood mentioned but not described in detail. One character is a vampire, and feeding on animals after breaking their necks is mentioned. Another vampire feeds on a human; blood is mentioned but there aren’t any gory descriptions. Strong language is rare but includes “f–k” and “s–t.” Individuals in a same-sex couple kiss a few times with descriptions of emotions rather than physical acts or body parts. Adults, a 20-year-old, and a character in his late teens drink in some scenes.
No thanks. I think we’ll pass.
Serpent Dove by Shelby Mahurin (2019)
Serpent Dove starts with the bad language and vulgarity by page eight. However, unlike the previous books on the list, it seems to have an interesting story about witch hunters and could possibly be entertaining. But the opening scene, which takes place in a brothel, doesn’t seem appropriate for a young audience. There are anti-Christian elements; occult references; erotic imagery; comparisons of marriage to prison; corrupted priests; blood magic; lots of f-words; and explicit sex.
The sex scene is like a typical Harlequin romance novel with a lot of groaning, gasping, straddling, and shattering. Particularly disturbing for young readers, however, is this part: “There’s a fine line between pleasure and pain…it’s a good hurt.” Young readers should not be taught that sex and pain go together as if this is normal.
While Serpent Dove does have some interesting plot scenarios, it’s not suitable for children. Shouldn’t librarians know this?
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi (2019)
I knew by the tagline this was going to be an exercise in leftist nonsense. “The queer hate-to-love story you need in your life,” it said. I couldn’t wait to speed-read it. The bad language shows up on page ten and continues throughout the book. It does make you wonder how writers of old managed to write bestsellers without using such creative expressions like “sh*t” and “f*ck” every other word.
This book had one thing the others lacked, and that was the ability to make me laugh out loud when one of the characters actually yells, “Stay away from me, you incompetent purveyor of benevolent sexism!” on page eighteen. If you can imagine the type of character who would say something like that then you can also bet there’s a lot of hostility toward cheerleaders and other forms of patriarchal oppression, lots of lesbian love scenes and another classic quote: “The world is unfair to girls.” Read this while wearing a pink pussy hat on the way to a “Resist” march or don’t even bother.
The Prom by Saundra Mitchell (2019)
I learned everything I needed to know about this book by reading the author blurb.
Saundra Mitchell is the author of over twenty books for tweens and teens…For twenty years, she was the head screenwriter and an executive producer with Dreaming Tree Films on their various teen filmmaking programs and earned Academy Award eligibility ten times during her tenure. In her free time, she enjoys fandom, studying history, crochet, and spending time with her wife and her daughters. Her pronouns are she/they.
Wait a minute! She/they? Her own author blurb didn’t even honor her pronouns correctly, did it? This stuff is beyond me. I’m just going to call her a terrible writer. This book is a gay oppression fantasy, which should totally be a new category. It begins: “Note to self; don’t be gay in Indiana.” Because being gay in Indiana in 2019 is sooooo hard. Mike Pence is from Indiana and everyone knows he wants to electrocute the gays or something.
This story follows young Emma and Alyssa, who just want to go to the prom together but for some reason they can’t without causing a huge uproar in their town, requiring two gay guys from New York to swoop in and stage protests and call the ACLU. This book is based on a musical. Every scene reads like one of those exaggerated stories where some oppressed person stands up to oppressors and then everyone claps. Only it never actually happened and no one was oppressing them to begin with. It’s cringeworthy.
Emma’s parents are described as “lifelong members of a church that officially hated gay people but in practice was ‘too nice’ to say anything about it in public.” It includes other anti-Christian sentiment, including one self-righteous LGBTQWTF theologian who knows the Bible better than Billy Graham.
This book is a hot mess. And is anyone buying that gay teens are oppressed in 2019? At our local high school, boys who say they are trans are allowed in the girls’ locker rooms and any girl who is embarrassed by this is forced to change in a single-use bathroom. They have a “Queer Club” and “LGBTQ Days” and anti-bullying policy that makes it nearly criminal to misgender someone. Who is buying that in 2019 the Christians are running things and gays are discriminated against?
Teen fiction is in a crisis and that could be why Harry Potter and C.S. Lewis’s tales still top the list of the most popular books of all time. Where are the stories of great courage and virtue and honor? Don’t expect to find any in the pool of degeneracy that YA literature is swimming in.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo.” Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter