Kirk Cameron pitches SkyTree Book Fairs as alternative to ‘woke’ giant Scholastic

Scholastic has long reigned as the undisputed book-fair champ, but the publisher known for “Clifford the Big Red Dog” is raising concerns on the right over its growing library of children’s books with sexually mature LGBTQ themes.

Enter SkyTree Book Fairs.

The newly launched start-up is marketing itself to schools as a wholesome alternative to Scholastic and such titles as “Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure,” “Drag Teen,” and “Gay Club!”

Serving as SkyTree pitchman is none other than Kirk Cameron, the Christian actor and author, who called Scholastic “controllers in part of the woke matrix.”

“They’re a billion-dollar company, around for over 100 years,” Mr. Cameron said. “They have over 100,000 book fairs around the country, hundreds every single day in public and private schools, and the books are increasingly laced with gender-confusing, race-infused, pornographic, sexually explicit material that you can’t even advertise on Facebook.”

Indeed Brave Books, which publishes Mr. Cameron’s children’s stories, said it was prohibited from running an ad about some of Scholastic’s more risque content because it violated Meta’s policy against showing “people in explicit or suggestive positions, or images that show nudity or cleavage.”

“There’s a wolf in grandma’s clothing, to use the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ metaphor, and that wolf we have discovered is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, which is Scholastic,” Mr. Cameron recently said on Glenn Beck’s radio show.

SkyTree is headed by Riley Lee, a former middle-school teacher who said she was working for Brave Books on Mr. Cameron’s library tour when “my eyes were opened to the impact that books have on families across the country.”

“Public libraries were only the tip of the iceberg, and unfortunately, these story hours were not reaching far enough,” she said in a statement. “I’ve always been the kind of person who focuses on solutions and not problems, so I identified the problem and found a group of people who were ready and willing to help find a solution.”

Scholastic has not commented publicly on SkyTree, but told The Washington Times in an email that “Scholastic is committed above all to supporting every child’s journey to learn to read and love to read, in partnership with schools and families.”

SkyTree is planning to hold its first book fair Dec. 2 at Riverbend High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia, part of the Spotsylvania County Public Schools. Like Scholastic, SkyTree book fairs offer programs fundraising for schools.

Mr. Cameron said the inaugural book fair will include “music, hot cocoa, coffee, food trucks, a book reading of my book ‘As You Grow,’ and, of course, tons of age-appropriate books for families to explore!”

SkyTree, named after a place in Brave Books’ imaginary universe of Freedom Island, said it currently has vetted and approved more than 200 children’s books, with plans to have upwards of 500 ready for spring book fairs.

Scholastic, which holds more than 120,000 book fairs annually, offers well over 1,000 titles, including more than 100 on its list of “LGBTQIA+ Children’s Books.”

Its “Read with Pride Resource Guide” says that the publishing industry is “experiencing an undeniable, joyous boom of queer literature for children and young adults of all ages.”

“As a teacher, librarian, educator, or caregiver, how you interact with all children and teens around queerness matters,” said the Scholastic resource guide. ”What literature you provide them with, and how you talk about both literature and identity, can have an immense, life-changing impact on the young people in your life. Everyone benefits from books with authentic representation of queer identities.”

They include titles such as “Melissa,” previously published as “George,” the story of a fourth-grade boy who “knows she’s a girl” for ages 8-12, and “Stars in Their Eyes,” about a young romance featuring a nonbinary character, for ages 12 and up.

For younger kids, Scholastic offers “Llama Glamarama,” the story of a llama named Larry who likes to dress up in bright costumes and dance, a book for ages 3-5 billed by Amazon as “the perfect Pride picture book for everyone.”

For those opting to take a pass on the “joyous boom of queer literature for children,” there’s SkyTree.

Hundreds of schools have signed up for book fairs, and thousands have expressed interest, said Brave Books chief-of-staff Zac Bell.

“This is how we turn the tide in our culture: Uproot the evil and plant seeds of truth, goodness, and beauty,” Mr. Cameron said. “No more whining and complaining about the culture; start winning and creating the culture by doing. See evil, call it out, offer good, and invite others to join us.”

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