Another book is being recalled, days before its release. In this case, the book is Sky Blue Water. The error in it will be revised. The existing 4000 books are being recalled by the publisher.
Shannon Gibney, posted a photo of the page in the forthcoming Sky Blue Water that said "Christopher Columbus discovered America" on her Facebook page. She has a story in the book, which is comprised of several short stories for children in grades 4-7.
Gibney wrote to the editors about that line and a few days later, the University of Minnesota Press (it is the publisher) decided to recall the book. It is not going away forever--which is good to know--because it has some terrific writers in it, including Marcie Rendon. She's an enrolled member of the White Earth Anishinaabe Nation. Marcie's story is "Worry and Wonder." It is about a child whose placement is being deliberated under the Indian Child Welfare Act.
That "Columbus discovered America" line is in the Foreword, written by Kevin Kling. Here's the paragraph (Kindle Locations 119-122):
From the Boundary Waters you can canoe all the way to Hudson Bay. Some believe that the Vikings navigated from the Atlantic Ocean to Minnesota more than a hundred years before Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas. It’s possible we paddled the same waters, fought the same currents.That sentence is jarring.
I'm glad that the press is recalling the book so they can correct that error. Here's a passage from the The Star Tribune's article:
"In addition to the recall and reprint, we are going to examine how this error got by the editorial safeguards we have in place to prevent such inaccuracies from making their way into our published books," Hamilton said.
Hamilton is the assistant director of marketing.
University of Minnesota Press publishes some excellent books that I recommend to writers, editors, and book reviewers. Kim TallBear's Native American DNA and Jean O'Brian's First and Lasting are two examples. Books like this can help people learn things that aren't taught in schools--be that elementary school or a college classroom.
Thanks, Shannon Gibney, for speaking up about that line. I think it is another example of the ways that social media can be used to effect change.
I wonder what the revised Foreword will be? Will that line simply be cut? Or, will the editors use its appearance as an opportunity to tell readers about their collective blindness to the line in the first place?
High profile writers have stories in the collection. Will they, in their speaking engagements, talk about that error? I hope so! Only by having a lot of discussion of the problem will we get to a place where errors like that won't happen again.
Sky Blue Water: Great Stories for Young Readers, edited by Jay D. Peterson and Collette A. Morgan, was scheduled for release on September 15th.
*At 5:28 PM on Sept 1, 2016, Ms. Hamilton wrote to tell me the following:
The phrase "discovered the Americas" was introduced in editing and not written by Kevin Kling. It was introduced by an editor and was missed in review by the U of MN Press.
Kevin’s original sentence was: "It is believed that the Vikings navigated from the Atlantic to Minnesota over a hundred years before Columbus.”
It was changed to: "Some believe that the Vikings navigated from the Atlantic Ocean to Minnesota more than a hundred years before Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas.”She said they deeply regret that phrase, because it is inaccurate and out of step with the book. They are taking immediate steps to correct it.