Revised and Withdrawn

Revised and Withdrawn*
A log of children's books that have been revised or withdrawn
(Last update: March 5, 2021)

We are rarely told why a book is revised or withdrawn from publication, and we're rarely told when the change itself is made or who made it. Some changes are superficial, really, because the ideology of the book (writer?) is still there, beneath the words that get changed. Some changes--like the ones in picture books--are significant. All of them are, nonetheless, important to know about. Some scholars use the word "bowdlerize" to refer to these changes. That word means to change a book by removing or modifying the parts that could offend people. 

If you know of a book that we could add, please let us know. If you click on the links you'll go to the original post about the book and will likely find a page number/images there. 

Apr 1, 2009. Straight Talk on Race by Mitali Perkins at School Library Journal (Perkins writes about revising the end of The Sunita Experiment when a reader pointed out "exotic Indian princess" in this story about South Asian teen.)

Apr 21, 2009. They Were Strong and Good for 1940 by Peter Sieruta at Collecting Children's Books

Nov 1, 2009. Edit(s) to 1935 edition of Little House on the Prairie by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Jan 26, 2010. Another Cover Uncovered by Edith Campbell at CrazyQuilted. 

Sep 19, 2010. Censoring Ideology (about Doctor Dolittle) by Philip Nel at Nine Kinds of Pie

Sep 22, 2010. Social Change and Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever by Lisa Wade at Sociological Images

Jan 10, 2011. Changing "Injun" to "Indian" in Tom Sawyer by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Apr 3, 2013. Joan Walsh Anglund's The Brave Cowboy by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Dec 18, 2013. Nancy Drew and the Case of the Politically Incorrect Children's Books by Marjorie Ingall at Tablet Magazine 

Jan 5, 2014: Travers (author of Mary Poppins): "I Lived with the Indians..." by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Oct 1, 2015: Big News about Hoffman's Amazing Grace by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Nov 20, 2015. A Beloved Classic: 95% Less Offensive by Elizabeth Bird at School Library Journal

Nov 11, 2015. Ladybug Girl in Headdress? Gone! by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature 

Nov 13, 2015. Revisions to The Case for Loving by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Jan 9, 2016. Revised! Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire's ABRAHAM LINCOLN by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Jan 13, 2016. A Comparison: D'Aulaire's ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 1939 and 2015 editions by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Jan 15, 2016. A Birthday Cake for George Washington, recalled at Teaching for Change.

Aug 12, 2016. Ashley Hope Perez's Out of Darkness by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Aug 12, 2016. "When We Was Fierce" Pulled as Demand Grows for More #OwnVoices Stories by Lauren Barack at School Library Journal

Aug 15, 2016. When You Don't Get it Right (Or That Time I Appropriated Spirit Animal) by Julie Murphy at her Tumblr page

Aug 15, 2016. "Spirit Animal" will not appear in future printings of Julie Murphy's DUMPLIN by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Sep 1, 2016. Use of "Columbus discovered America" leads to book [Sky Blue Water] being recalled by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Sep 23, 2016. On Making Mistakes by Robin Talley at her Tumblr page

Sep 25, 2016. "Totem pole" will not appear in future printings of Robin Talley's AS I DESCENDED by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature

Nov 8, 2016. A message from the HarlequinTeen team regarding #TheContinent at @HarlequinTEEN twitter account (full text of message) Note on Jan 31, 2019: The book was published in 2018 but changes were insignificant, as noted in my review on Feb 8 of 2018: Not recommended: Keira Drake's THE CONTINENT

Dec 7, 2016. Bad Little Children's Books Cancelled after Backlash at Electric Literature. 

May 8, 2017. Twitter, Critique, and Children's Literature... Oh, My by Laura Jimenez at Book Toss is an overview of Edi Campbell's critique of Daniel Handler and Matthew Forsyth's forthcoming The Bad Mood and the Stick published by Little Brown. The racist depiction of a bad mood is being revised. 

July 21, 2017. Not recommended: Twisted True Tales from Science: Medical Mayhem by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature. 

July 21, 2018: Dear Charlesbridge: It's not too late! Please do not release BEYOND THE GREEN. (On July 24, Charlesbridge announced they were withdrawing the book.)

January 2, 2019: "Harshly" Judging Islamophobia by Laura Jimenez at Booktoss is about A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library by Jack Gantos and Dave McKean.

Feb 8, 2019 at 12:38 PM: Margaret Rogerson, on Twitter: "I need to issue an apology today. I learned from friends that I included an anti-Semitic stereotype in Sorcery of Thorns. Fortunately, my publishing team was able to act quickly to ensure this content won’t make it into the final version. It is, however, still present in the ARC." and "For those who wish to avoid the scene, it occurs on pages 20-30 of the ARC and is referenced again on pages 71-72. In the scene, the love interest, who is a sorcerer with demonic magic, is rumored to have horns. The protagonist grabs his hair to see if she can feel them." and "The idea of a person having hidden horns is an offensive Jewish stereotype that continues to cause pain to this day, and my ignorance is inexcusable. I apologize for the hurt I caused and am grateful that it was brought to my attention this morning, just in time to fix the text."

March 2, 2021: 6 Dr. Seuss books won't be published for racist images by Mark Pratt at AP (Associated Press). 

March 20, 2021: Gone with the Wind is no longer in DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature. 

March 26, 2021: Dav Pilkey and Scholastic Will No Longer Publish The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung Fu Cavemen from the Future by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature. 
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*This list originated as a blog post on November 18, 2015. I (Debbie) am adding it to AICL's menu bar on June 5, 2016. For ease of reading, the list is no longer displayed with bullets, and, the title has been changed to reflect that some books on the list were withdrawn from publication. 

1 comment:

mclicious said...

This is such a good list to have on hand. Thanks for keeping it updated.