The book "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe is a book that was written in 2019 and it tells the story of the author, Maia Kobabe, exploring gender identity and sexuality, with the author ending up identifying as non-binary. The book does have an "18 and up" reading age listed on Amazon.
Leavitt Area High School in Turner has 574 students, and the school is now the 5th Maine school to challenge the book Gender Queer and ask that the book be removed from the school's library. A parent requested the book be removed over concerns that the book has graphic, inappropriate sexual content. A book review committee reviewed the book and recommended that it remain in the library with some recommendations. The review committee recommended that the book should not be required reading and that it only be made available to students in 9th grade or higher.
The book review committee's decision was then challenged by parents, and the school board held a meeting with public comment on January 26, 2023, to decide whether they would keep the book in the school library. The school board directors did have some concerns with some of the images in the book, but they felt that the book was appropriate reading material for high school students. One of the directors who voted against keeping the book said that the book was not appropriate for children under the age of 18 without parental guidance because of the graphic images.
The board held a vote, and with 5 votes in favor of keeping the book in the library and 3 votes in favor of removing the book from the library, the board made the decision to keep the book. For the 2022-2023 school year, the school districts of RSU 40, RSU 73, and MSAD 6 all had book challenges for the book and voted to keep it in the school libraries. The only school district that has voted to remove the book is RSU 56.
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