A book containing a number of LGBTQ+ themes will not be moved from the children’s section in League City’s Helen Hall Library after a vote to do so from city committee members ended in a tie.

What you need to know

League City’s Community Standards Review Committee, which was created last year to review books within Helen Hall Library that are flagged by the public as potentially inappropriate, met Feb. 23 to review a book that was submitted for review in December.

The book, titled “Grandad’s Pride,” was flagged in December by a resident over concerns of images and themes in the book.

The committee, at its Feb. 23 meeting, with four members present, voted 2-2 to move the book to a different section of the library. A tie means no action is taken, and with two members absent, there was no way to break it, a city attorney said at the meeting.

As a result, the book will remain in the aged 0-11 section.

Diving in deeper

"Grandad’s Pride," by Harry Woodgate, tells the story of a young child who comes across a box of items that belongs to her grandfather, including a rainbow pride flag, while making a pirate fort. The story progresses with her and the community putting together a local pride parade.

The book was flagged in December by resident Joshua Foxworth for several reasons, including discussion of sexuality, nudity and images of sexualized outfits at the parade.

Committee members discussed different ways to both keep it in the section but also make it harder for a child to obtain without their parent's permission. Ideas included:
  • Moving the book to the parenting section, which includes instructional books on taking care of a child, such as sleep training or weaning
  • Putting the book higher on the shelf so a child couldn’t reach it without their parent
Since the book has been on the shelf at the library, it’s been checked out by one person, officials said at the meeting.

What they’re saying

Three residents spoke at the meeting, all in favor of keeping the book in the aged 0-11 section of the library.

Resident Peggy Zahler said she read the book and listened to a couple of story times focused on the book and said it was “very touching.”

“If it was the difference between listening to the story time on YouTube for ‘Grandad’s Pride,’ or watching the entertainment at the Super Bowl, I would ... rather my young person friend be exposed to the story time for this very loving way of saying, ‘we're all different and we’re all in this together.’”

However, not everyone on the committee agreed. Committee member Mark Lardas said he felt the images included in the book made it inappropriate for “unfettered access to children.”

“It’s not the content or subject of the book that disturbs me. ... It’s the images they chose to include in the book.” Lardas said at the meeting.

Committee member Laura Teatsworth said she felt the book was focused on diversity, inclusivity, compassion and adventure.

“I’d like to say there’s no issue with this book,” Teatsworth said.