Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore

Available At: Electronic, Liberty

Categories: Cursing, LGBTQ+, Politics, Racism, Sexual, Whiteness

Description: When Carey Parker, a genderqueer teen who dreams of being a diva like their hero Mariah Carey, is cast as the female lead in the school musical, they must fight against discrimination and injustice from their closed-minded school administration.

YA Label?: Unknown

Notes: Contains alternate sexualities; sexual activities; alternate gender ideologies; suicide commentary; controversial political commentary; controversial racial commentary; profanity; and controversial and inflammatory social commentary.

Violations (Miller Test [MT] & Colorado Obscenity Test [CD])

The above scale indicates whether, in our view, the referenced book violates established and upheld Federal (Miller Test) and State (Colorado Obscenity Test) standards. Books that violate ALL established standards will have a table printed in red. Under Colorado Law, willful distribution of such material is deemed a Class 6 penalty carrying a fine and/or up to 18 months in prison.


Page 7: “‘I got you something,’ Mr. Kelly pulls out his desk drawer. ‘My husband and I were in West Village last weekend and came across these.’ He walks over and places a rainbow velvet pouch on my desk. ‘The shop owner is genderqueer too, and they explained how they made these for other genderqueer people to express their gender identity on any given day.’”

Page 81: “His salty lips lightly graze mine as I stare at his perfect, angular face. Should I close my eyes? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? So I do, and my body relaxes enough that I grab his face and kiss him back. He gently nibbles my lower lip and finishes with two soft pecks before letting me go.”

Page 184: “…What I do know is that she’s the progressive misfit. They’re all conservative. She used to fight with them all the time. I don’t think they liked that she was dating a bisexual Filipino. They’re more the ‘we think the Confederate flag is an American symbol’ type. Hashtag white pride.”

Page 256: “Traditional literary canon equals white and male.”

Page 364: ”The planet is burning from global climate change; racial, LGBTQ+, and gender injustice and inequity run rampant; and gun deaths and mass shootings seem so obviously preventable yet aren’t.”