Our Commitment to Sharing Diverse Stories

 A Statement from Peter Warwick, President and CEO, Scholastic 

April 13, 2023

Some of you will be aware of a recent blog post from Maggie Tokuda-Hall, an author who was approached by us to license her book Love in the Library, published by Candlewick, for our Rising Voices Library. Each collection provides students with high-interest texts, paired with teaching materials, to build classroom libraries that broaden the perspectives of students from all backgrounds by celebrating stories and lived experiences of the historically under-represented. One of our upcoming releases is Amplifying Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders' stories (AANHPI).

Love in the Library is a beautiful and important book, and we all agree that it would be a tremendous addition to this classroom library collection. However, in our initial outreach we suggested edits to Ms. Tokuda-Hall’s author’s note. This approach was wrong and not in keeping with Scholastic’s values. We don’t want to diminish or in any way minimize the racism that tragically persists against Asian-Americans. 

We have reached out to Candlewick to apologize to Ms. Tokuda-Hall, Yas Imamura, the illustrator, and the editors. It is our sincere hope that we can start this conversation over and still be able to share this important story about Ms. Tokuda-Hall’s grandparents, who met in a WWII Incarceration camp, with the author’s note unchanged.

We also met today with the collection's mentors (authors and educators from the AANHPI communities) to apologize for our actions in seeking to change the author’s note, to hear their most recent thoughts, and to answer their questions and concerns. It was a moving and instructive experience for us. We had not consulted them on such an important issue as this, we had therefore put at risk their trust in us and caused personal anguish and harm. We must never do this again. We will be reviewing our curating and publishing processes to ensure that all our decisions and actions are consistent with our Credo, which unequivocally states our belief in the value of every individual, as well as the importance of representation, accuracy, and diverse voices in the stories, information, and teaching materials we share with educators, families, and communities.

Please know that we will always stand against censorship. We are trusted to have a creative partnership with our authors and illustrators to ensure that all voices are heard and that children everywhere have access to authentic stories and information that helps them learn about history, grow, and discover who they are. No division will request edits to any published books for our collections moving forward, something that has been, and remains, our policy. We will work hard to ensure that we meet the needs of our young audiences and their teachers without changing, in any way, the stories, books, and information that we share with them.

We are all proud of the Rising Voices Libraries and the work of our colleagues, advisors, and hundreds of authors and illustrators to bring these works to 39 states. We are currently re-reviewing the proposed Amplifying AANHPI collection, so that everyone involved can be proud of what we ultimately publish.