(NEW YORK)– In response to a recent story that Scholastic editors sought to edit references to racism from the author’s note in Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s Love in the Library as a condition of licensing the book, PEN America released the following statement from Jonathan Friedman, director, Free Expression and Education:
“Over the past 18 months, PEN America has recorded the removal of hundreds of books that touch on race and racism and books that include characters of color from school and classroom libraries. In district after district, picture books that tell these stories have been particularly targeted. Efforts to suppress books, words, and images that tell this country’s history, discuss systemic racism, and present stories lived by people of color, harm the rising generation, and undermine the purposes of our public school system. Scholastic has long played a crucial role in ensuring young people’s access to books, and we are glad to see their apology; we hope that they will continue to stand on the side of free expression for their authors in this censorious climate. The future of the freedom to read, learn, and think is at stake.”

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more visit PEN.org 

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057