GLAAD today announced that its children’s book, Prince & Knight, written by Daniel Haack and illustrated by Stevie Lewis, and published in partnership with Little Bee Books, was the 5th most challenged book of 2019, according to the American Library Assocation’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books list published today. Prince & Knight is available at Bookshop.org, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in many libraries nationwide.
Check out the full book and cover art here.
Each year, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles the Top 10 Most Challenged Books list by documenting public challenges (challenges reported in the media), as well as censorship reports submitted through the Office’s challenge reporting form. The list informs the public about censorship attempts in libraries and schools and highlights the stories of library workers and community members who are defending the freedom to read. The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom will be highlighting stories from the #BannedBooksList with infographics, activities, and live-streams this week in honor of National Library Week. The ‘Top 10 list’ provides only a snapshot of censorship attempts as the Office of Intellectual Freedom estimates that 82-97% of challenges remain unreported.
Reasons listed for Prince & Knight’s contention included: “featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content” and for being “‘a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children’ with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint.”
“LGBTQ families, like mine, are too often left out of programming for children and families, creating hardships for LGBTQ parents and children alike,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “We join with Little Bee Books, the American Library Association, and other leaders in combating the move to ban or censor books like Prince & Knight and the other LGBTQ titles on this year’s list. These beautiful titles should not be challenged, they should be celebrated, but this list is an important reminder of the work ahead for LGBTQ families. GLAAD will continue our advocacy work until these titles are available in every library and bookstore.”
“At Little Bee Books, it’s our mission to develop books that help educate, entertain, and inspire children. We want every child to be able to see themselves, their families, or their friends in our books and to use reading as a way to cultivate their self-confidence and broaden their view of the world,” said Little Bee Books’ CEO, Shimul Tolia. We’re proud of Prince & Knight and what the story has meant to LGBTQ families and allies, and are proud to partner with GLAAD in their mission of advocating for the LGBTQ community. We look forward to the day that diverse and inclusive stories like the one told in Prince & Knight are not censored. Being on the list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019 only underscores the critical importance of publishing stories that are representative of all families, and the work we have ahead of us.”
At 6:30pm ET tonight, the author and illustrator of Prince & Knight, Daniel Haack and Stevie Lewis respectively, will be reading Prince and Knight livestreamed on the Banned Books Week Facebook page. Throughout the week, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom will be highlighting additional stories from the #BannedBooksList with infographics, activities, and live-streams this week in honor of National Library Week.
Of this year’s ten most challenged books, eight of the titles were challenged due to LGBTQ content. The LGBTQ titles on this year’s list are:
- Prince and Knight, by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis;
- George, by Alex Gino;
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin;
- A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller;
- Sex is a Funny Word, by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth;
- I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas;
- Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier;
- And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole
Recognizable past titles to make the ALA’s ‘Top 10 Most Challenged Books List’ over the years include:
- To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee;
- Beloved, by Tony Morrison
- The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger
- Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Prince & Knight features a noble prince and brave knight that come together to defeat a terrible monster and, in the process, find true love in the most unexpected place. The book has garnered glowing reviews from multiple media outlets. Kirkus gave the title a starred review and called it “Victorious . . . the premier queer-friendly fairy tale.” Booklist stated that it was “A colorful and entertaining tale exploring sexuality, acceptance, and young love.” The School Library Journal said that Prince & Knight is “An illuminating fairy tale for young readers to be able to see that not every prince would like to marry a princess.”
The book is part of a partnership between children’s book publisher, Little Bee Books, and the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, GLAAD. The partnership represents a commitment to increasing positive representation of diverse gender and sexual identities in children’s books. Prince & Knight was the first book to be published through the partnership with several other titles following, including a new board book version of Prince & Knight to be released on April 28th. Below are some of the growing number of titles that have been released.
Jack (Not Jackie)
Price: $17.99 USD / $23.99 CAN
In this heartwarming picture book, a big sister realizes that her little sister, Jackie, doesn’t like dresses or fairies – she likes ties and bugs! Will she and her family be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as “Jack”?
Maiden & Princess
Price: $17.99 USD/ $23.99 CAN
In this modern fairy tale, a strong, brave maiden is invited to attend the prince’s royal ball, but at the dance, she ends up finding true love in a most surprising place.
Ellen Degeneres (People of Pride Series)
Price: $6.99 USD / $8.99 CAN
Celebrate the amazing accomplishments of LGBTQ activist and trailblazer Ellen DeGeneres in this board book.
Additional titles from the GLAAD and Little Bee Books partnership upcoming include:
The Fighting Infantryman
Price: $18.99 USD / $25.99 CAN
*On Sale June 2, 2020
This beautifully written and timely story shows a transgender soldier’s personal bravery as he faced daring challenges on the battlefield and privately battled the restrictions and confines of gender.
Uncle Bobby’s Wedding
Price: $.17.99 USD / $23.99 CAN
*On Sale May 12, 2020
Chloe’s favorite uncle is getting married, and she’s not happy about it. But after a magical day with Uncle Bobby and his boyfriend, Jamie, Chloe realizes she’s not losing an uncle, but gaining one.
Price: $24.99 USD / $33.99 CAN
* On Sale June 2, 2020
Always Human is a beautifully drawn graphic novel about a developing relationship between two young women in a near-future, soft sci-fi setting. Always Human is drawn in a manga-influenced style and with an incredible color palette that leaps off the page!
About Little Bee Books: Little Bee Books is a children’s book publisher dedicated to making high-quality, creative, and fun books for busy little bees ages 0 through 12, offering an inspired selection of early learning concept books, board books, novelty books, activity books, picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, gift sets, and more. For more information, please visit littlebeebooks.com.