by Hannah Grossman
New York City's Department of Education has a series of book recommendations focusing on transgender children
EXCLUSIVE – New York City has a series of books in its Mosaic Independent Reading Collection that focuses on teaching children as young as first grade and Kindergarten about LGBTQ+ and other left-wing issues, Fox News Digital has learned.
The reading lists, which include titles on Greta Thunberg and Elizabeth Warren, were created by the NYC Department of Education Library services, according to the TeachingBooks website. The page can only be accessed internally through the DOE's official login for students and teachers.
Brooklyn parent leader, Vito Labella, told Fox News Digital that he frequently gets calls from concerned parents who are worried about transgender and critical race theory-derived curricula being taught to their young children. Fox News Digital reached out to the DOE about the educational materials but did not receive a response.
"They are terrified to speak up," said Labella, who is also running for New York State Senate with a top issue of restoring parents' rights in education.
Officials announced the Mosaic curriculum $200-million overhaul in July 2021; it was intended to diversify the curriculum and standardize English and math instruction, according to the New York Post. "[Mosaic] will simplify and clarify the work of our educators and better represent our kids," former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
I'm Not a Girl: A Transgender Story – First-Grade Recommendation
The book discusses the journey of a transgender child, who people identify as a girl, longing to be seen as a boy.
"No one seems to hear me," says the child. "I am a boy, no one seems to believe me though."
At one point in the book, the child is asked to put on her jacket (which is pink) while she is outside in snowy weather. The child declares, "I'd rather be cold and wet than not be me."
"I know girls are really cool, I'm just not one," the child says. The child also wishes on her birthday that people saw her as a boy.
Love is Love – First-Grade Recommendation
"I know lots of gay people. My teacher Mrs. Adams is gay. Police Chief Carter is gay[,] ... Mayor Sanchez is gay. There are even lots of famous gay people. Singers and scientists and artists and athletes. My friend thinks we might have a gay president someday," the book states.
When Aidan Became a Brother – Second-Grade Recommendation
The book explores the journey of a young boy named Aidan coming out as transgender. The book says, "When Aiden was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name ... But as Aidan got bigger, he hated the sound of his name ... He was really another kind of boy."
Aidan's mother admits she made a mistake misgendering her son, saying, "When you were born, we didn't know you were going to be our son. We made some mistakes, but you helped us fix them."
Then, when Aidan's mother became pregnant, she was asked by someone whether the baby was a boy or girl. "Aidan didn't like it when people asked if he was a boy or a girl, and he hoped the baby couldn't hear yet. He was glad when Mom just smiled and said, 'I'm having a baby.'"
Julian is a Mermaid – Kindergarten recommendation
The book by author Jessica Love describes a boy who wants to become a mermaid. During the book, the boy repeatedly strips down to his underwear. Later, he puts on lipstick and dons a headdress. He is then given costume jewelry before being taken to the NYC Mermaid Parade where he can freely express himself.
"This is a boy named Julian, and this is his Nana. And those are some mermaids," the book says with an illustration of women dressing up as mermaids.
"This beautiful book is one of the very few picture books about a gender non-conforming child," a review of the book, posted to the author's website, said.
Our Skin: A First Conversation about Race — Kindergarten Recommendation
The book begins with an explanation of why discussions with young children about race are essential to fight against bias and stereotypes.
It states, "Young children notice … skin color, race, and even injustice and racism … [W]hen we don't talk about [these things], children often come to their own conclusions, which can include bias and stereotypes because of the world we live in."
The book asks readers to identify what skin colors they see at the playground.
"A long time ago … a group of white people made up an idea called race," the book said."Racism … [is] all around us, even when we don't notice it."
"Racism can be an idea, like thinking only princesses have blonde hair."
The book then proceeds to instruct adults on how they can have conversations about race with kids, such as how to explain how "race is a social construct."
"Words like Black and white may ... seem like 'bad words.' They're not! Having accurate and appropriate language for social identity groups empowers children"
We Are Water Protectors – Kindergarten-Fifth recommendation
The book, written by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade, was created in response to the protests against the construction of the 1,172-mile-long underground oil pipeline. The protests began in 2016 and its activists took objection to the pipeline's underground network across the Missouri River, just north of the Native American Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
The book portrays a dark picture of the oil pipeline, illustrating it as a large anaconda-like snake. "My people speak of a black snake that will destroy the land, spoil the water, poison plants and animals, wreck everything in its path."
"Now the black snake is here, its venom burns the land," the book continues.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag – Second-Grade Recommendation
The book discusses gay rights activist Harvey Milk's fight for equal rights, including his assassination.
"He dreamed that one day, people would be able to live and love as they pleased," the book said. "He became the first openly gay people to be elected to political office in the United States."