Bay Area author refuses Scholastic's suggested revision to cut 'racism' references in book

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Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Bay Area author refuses to cut 'racism' references in new book
Bay Area author Maggie Tokuda-hall talks after Scholastic asks her to remove "racism" references in her book "Love in the Library" to license it.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Amid the battles in state legislatures and governors' mansions over banning books, Bay Area-based author Maggie Tokuda-Hall has found her children's book in the crosshairs.

"Love in the Library" is a story of love during the horrors of the Japanese American internment experience during World War II.

It's the work of Oakland resident Maggie Tokuda-Hall, and apparently too controversial for Scholastic Books.

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The publisher was seeking a licensing agreement, hoping to re-package the book and put it in classrooms.

Tokuda-Hall shared a screenshot of their proposed changes with us.

Scholastic cut out an entire paragraph and removed the word "racism" from the author's note.

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On our 3 p.m. show Getting Answers, Tokuda-Hall said she sees parallels between this and the attempts to silence authors who write about things like Black feminism, queer studies and Black Lives Matter activism.

"I think it is all part of the same movement to kind of return us to the comfortable problem of jingoism and the way that we talk about our history," Tokuda-Hall said. "You know, as somebody who is also Jewish, it is really difficult for me not to see parallels to other instances when books have been banned and told that certain people's stories are not worth listening to at all."

As for "Love in the Library," Maggie says she gave Scholastic a "resounding no" to their attempt to license the book.

So it won't be in schools, but it is available for sale, with the original author's note.

Watch the full interview in the media player above.

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