linda de haan

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank


North Carolina Teacher Omar Currie Reads His Class Gay Fable After Third-Grader Is Bullied

A North Carolina teacher is drawing both praise and criticism for the way he handled a bullying situation with one of his students.

Omar Currie, 25, teaches third grade at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School in Efland, North Carolina. Three weeks ago, Currie overheard some of his students calling one of their male classmates “gay” and “a woman.” Instead of sending the bullies to the principal’s office, Currie took a different approach: He read his class King & King, a children’s fable by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland that features a same-sex romance.

Currie, who identifies as gay, told The Huffington Post that he wanted to have an honest conversation with his students – whom he affectionately refers to as his “kids” – on how to treat people who may seem different.

Read on here.

King and King (2002) by Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland

The children’s book begins: “On the tallest mountain above town,” the young Prince Bertie still has not married, as is the custom in his kingdom. His mother, a grouchy Queen who is tired of ruling and wishes to pass on the responsibility to her son, insists he must find a princess to marry. The prince tells his mom “Very well, Mother…. I must say, though, I’ve never cared much for princesses.” His mother marches princess after princess through the castle, but in spite of their various talents, they fail to interest the prince.

After a while, along comes Princess Madeleine escorted by her brother Prince Lee. At the same time, both Bertie and Lee exclaim, “What a wonderful prince!” The princes immediately fall in love, and they begin marriage preparations at once. The wedding is attended by all the princesses and their families; the two princes are declared King and King, and the Queen can finally relax, sunning herself in a lounge chair near the page and the princess from Greenland. The story ends with a kiss between the two kings.

LGBTQ Children's Literature in the Classroom

I have written a lot about the importance of a well-stocked classroom library to which students have easy access.  I firmly believe that a good classroom library must include many diverse characters and families for a number of reasons.  Students deserve to see kids “like them” portrayed in stories, and all students benefit from reading about different kinds of children and families.  While students need to be explicitly taught about diversity, I also believe a lot comes from the moments kids read entertaining, well-written stories and encounter differences on their own.

I have many books with characters of color, single parents, and topics such as discrimination, divorce, immigration, foster care, homelessness, and loss and grief.  My library also includes many LGBTQ children’s books.  I thought teachers (and others!) might benefit from some suggestions.  Most of these books would be appropriate for grades 1-6 (I teach 4th):

Books revolving around GAY MARRIAGE

For some reason, marriage is central to many LGBTQ children’s books.  I don’t always love this theme, but it’s a different take on a typical fairytale.

King & King by Linda de Haan: A King doesn’t want to marry princesses, so he marries a man instead.  Kids seem to like this one.

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen

Donovan’s Big Day by Leslea Newman: At the end of the story, it is revealed that Donovan’s aunt is marrying a woman.  Kids seem to be “surprised” by this one.

Other books about GAY FAMILIES

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson: A classroom favorite.

In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco: Polacco is a very well-regarded children’s author, and I read this book to my class every year around Mother’s Day.

Antonio’s Card / La Tarjeta de Antonio by Rigoberto Gonzalez: I especially love this book because it features a child of color and is a bilingual book.  It is very difficult to find LGBTQ books about anything other than caucasian families, or animals.

Families by Susan Kuklin: This book includes interviews with many different real-life families, including one gay and one lesbian.  Kids don’t seem to go for it as much as the story-book ones, but I like it.

Books about GENDER:

In addition to books about gay families, there are many great books about gender.  I posted about a few lessons I did here and here.  Some books I include in my classroom are…

Horrace and Morris but Mostly Dolores by James Howe

The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein

The Paper Bag Princess by Rober Munsch

Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tomie dePaola

My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis

10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert

William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow 


A Note About LGBTQ Books:

I believe that teachers need to protect themselves and their job, but I also believe that students deserve an uncensored library.  I teach in a mostly liberal area, but many of my families are traditional and conservative, and I know for a fact some of them do not support gay rights.  Still, all students are allowed to read these books and take them home as they would any other book.  Many of my students have commented that the books are “surprising” or “different,” but they don’t say these comments with disdain.  Indeed, many children have asked for other books “like these books.”  I have not had families complain about what I have in my classroom library, and I don’t believe that (in my case, at least) the potential of a complaint warrants removing such books.  I encourage other teachers to also incorporate LGBTQ texts into their classroom collection.