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R.L. Stine, author of the popular pre-teen book series 'Goosebumps' admits to having been unaware that some versions of his books had been edited by the woke publisher, Scholastic.
As part of a 2018 ebook re-release, Stine's publisher, Scholastic, edited the series to make them more aligned with progressive ideologies that reflect a woke version of diversity, social justice, and gender equality. While there were initial reports that Stine had made the edits, the author has since confirmed that he not only was not responsible for the changes but was also not made aware of them by Scholastic.
"The stories aren't true. I've never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me," Stine announced in a March 7 tweet. Stine's comments came in response to a tweet from another user who posted, "The fact he supports censorship and the alteration of works of art is quite disturbing. How shameful."
An example of Scholastic's progressive censorship can be seen in the 1996 book "Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns," which described a character as "tall and good-looking, with dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile." That description was changed by Scholastic to now read, "tall and good-looking, with brown skin, dark brown eyes, and a great, warm smile." Another phrase, "all four people were very overweight," has also been changed to the more offensive phrase, "All four people were huge."
In another book, "Don't Go To Sleep," originally published in 1997, a boy dismisses Tolstoy's Anna Karenina as "girl's stuff." In the new version, the publisher has the boy dismiss the book because it's "not interesting."
Scholastic also changed the word "crazy," which appears numerous times throughout the series with a variety of less accurate synonyms, including "wild," "silly," "scary," "stressed," and "lost her mind." Other words that were changed include "nutcase," which was replaced with "weirdo," while "a real nut" has been modified to "a real wild one." With so many changes to descriptive words, one can hardly retain an image of who Stine's characters were originally intended to be.
Scholastic, which is the largest publisher and distributor of children's books, maintains that the edits were necessary to keep the series current with the times.
"Scholastic reviewed the text to keep the language current and avoid imagery that could negatively impact a young person's view of themselves today, with a particular focus on mental health," the publisher said.
The word "slave" was also removed from the 1997 book "I Live in Your Basement." The original line read, "did he really expect me to be his slave - forever," and has been changed to, "did he really expect me to do this - forever?" And the changes continue throughout the entire series.
Regrettably, with the country's largest publisher and distributor of children's books censoring not only R.L. Stine's books but also such classics as Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, among others, woke censorship is likely to become the norm in children's literature. Scholastic was also the U.S. publisher for J.K. Rowling's popular series, 'Harry Potter.' One can only wonder how much woke editing those books will receive before future re-releases.
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