Alabama library flags a children's book because of author's "sexually explicit" last name

MAGA is on a book-banning tear, already banning and challenging more books in 2023 than any other year in the last two decades since the American Library Association started keeping track. And one such book is Read Me a Story Stella, a sweet children's book, which was just flagged by Alabama authoritarians not for the usual reasons —books either "written by or about a person of color or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community" — but simply because of the author's name: Marie-Louise Gay (gasp!).

From the Independent:

The book, Read Me a Story Stella by Marie-Louise Gay, was placed under review at the Harris County Public Library due to its "sexually explicit" nature, reported.

But the story has no sexual content, and is in fact about a brother called Sam and sister called Stella reading books together as they spend the day building a fort.

Kristen Brassard, Ms Gay's publicist at Groundwork Books, branded the saga "laughable".

"Although it is obviously laughable that our picture book shows up on their list of censored books simply because the author's last name is Gay, the ridiculousness of that fact should not detract from the seriousness of the situation," she said in a statement.

The review was based on a list of 102 books compiled by Clean Up Alabama of books containing what it claims to be "sexually explicit" material in libraries around the state, [Harris County Library's executive director] Ms Hewitt said. However, Read Me a Story, Stella was not on that list.

Hewitt has since admitted that Gay's book was accidentally put on the red flag list because of her last name and will allow it to stay on the library's shelves.