On Tuesday, the popular “Libs of TikTok” Twitter account reported that Flamer, an award-winning graphic novel that “discusses masturbation, watching porn, and has graphic depictions of sexual acts,” was available in the library of a Broward middle school. According to the tweet, Flamer is available to students at Falcon Cove Middle School in Weston. Concerned parents, activists and politicians want to know why.
Flamer is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel by author Mike Curato. The book “tells the story of Aiden, who is bullied for his appearance, including acting in a manner considered stereotypical of gay men. Curato…based his experience as a closeted teenager to write the novel.” As graphic novel, Flamer is more of a comic book than a traditional novel. Its words are accompanied with imagery depicting sexual activities.
For this reason, the publisher of Flamer states the book is suitable for high school aged students only.
Amazon states Flamer is suitable for grades 10-12. Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble state Flamer is suitable for ages 14-18.
So why is Flamer available to students age 10-14 at Falcon Cove Middle School?
Don’t Broward School librarians, administrators, teachers or staff check the age appropriateness of books before putting them on bookshelves?
Did someone decide they knew better than the publisher, Amazon and Barnes & Noble?
Did someone decide on their own that the message of a book overrules guidance from the publisher?
Governor Ron DeSantis did not say Flamer was not appropriate for middle school kids. The publisher of Flamer said it wasn’t appropriate for middle school students.
Libs of TikTok and Moms of Liberty didn’t say Flamer belonged in high school libraries. Amazon and Barnes & Noble said that.
Are the people who claim biographies of Anne Frank and Roberto Clemente run afoul of new rules the same ones who overruled the publisher’s recommendation on Flamer?
Broward parents deserve answers.