May 28, 2022

Alaska: “‘This Book is Gay’: Wasilla Library Mulls Future of LGBT Sex-Ed Book”

UPDATE November 26 James Dawson criticises parents who attacked his LGBT guide for children (via The Guardian)

From the Alaska Dispatch-News:

A young-adult sex education book that sits on Wasilla Public Library’s juvenile nonfiction shelf has sparked calls to relocate the book — if not remove it altogether.

“This Book is Gay” is a rainbow-covered guide for LGBT teens written by U.K. young-adult author James Dawson and published last year.

The copy in Wasilla is one of two public copies in Alaska. The other is in Barrow, where it’s shelved with adult nonfiction.

The book drew sudden attention in recent weeks after Wasilla resident Vanessa Campbell’s 10-year-old son pulled it off a shelf in the library’s lower-level children’s area. Campbell, shocked by what she considered vulgar language and graphic sexual concepts, started the unusual process of getting the book “reconsidered” by the library director because she wanted it moved.

Read the Complete Article (975 words)

Additional Coverage

Crowd rips Wasilla library over controversial sex ed book (via Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman)

Parents and children showed up in droves Monday, requiring city officials to use extra chairs, and requiring some people to stand in the back of the room and in the vestibule. Some quoted the Declaration of Independence. Others compared the book — which a reviewer for the School Library Journal called a “witty, no-holds-barred look at the LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) experience” — to pornography, and the librarians who defended it to pedophiles.

“I can’t imagine what kind of person would order that material and want to make it readily available for children,” said Emily Hardy. “That is straight-up pedophile kind of behavior.”

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Editorial From Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: “Bitter book battle brings up difficult discussion”

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.