Response on Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt

As you have probably heard, Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt, a title in the Geronimo Stilton series, published by Scholastic, includes a map that inadvertently omits Israel. Scholastic is immediately stopping shipment on this title, revising the map, and going back to reprint. We regret the omission which was in the original version of the book published in Italy and was translated by our company for English language distribution.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

Comments

Thank you. But more importantly, didn't anyone proof read the translation? How could you have let this happen in the first place?

Too bad you do not explain how this happened exactly. Catering to radical Muslim groups like CAIR would be a big mistake.

I"m sorry, perhaps I misunderstood. Is Scholastic a publisher or merely a printer of books? Do you employ editors? Where do you recruit them - the PLO propaganda office? How could a responsible company allow a lie of this magnitude to be published in a children's book? An entire nation has been obliterated from this map, because someone has decided that it does not deserve to exist.

Halting publication until the error can be corrected is a good first step, but you need to identify the source of the map. Who was it? The author, the illustrator, the Italian publisher? If the map was created by the author, you should not be publishing this series at all. You cannot continue to sell the work of a writer who takes advantage of the innocence and ignorance of children to promote the annihilation of a whole country, without your company being inextricably associated with that position.

The children who read your books deserve better than hateful lies and propaganda, and the families who have trusted you and kept you in business expect better. I will not be buying your products until there is a full and public resolution of this situation, and I know that I will not be the only one.

K. Manning, I want to thank you for your response to this disgusting bit of personal, political deceit sold to our innocent children! I could not have said it better and will be one of those who will not buy any Scholastic products until there is a full and public resolution. I want to know who created that book and deliberately left off the state of Israel!

I have contacted everyone I know urging them to do the same.

Jenni Stewart

Excellent! Thank you!

It is good that Scholastic is taking responsibility for having Israel deleted from a map in one of your books. Thanks for standing up and doing what is right. To be frank, sloppy editing and proofreading would be disturbing in any case. But what bothers me most are these questions: what about the books already sold? What exactly caused Scholastic to react?

I too am upset about this. The excuse that it was "inadvertance," doesn't wash. Clearly, this went through many editorial checks and was not changed. If your editorial staff is that incompetent, it would seem you need to 1) change your editorial staff and, 2) change the way in which you make sure your publications are properly edited.

Moreover, it seems clear you should no longer do business with the Italian company.

Shame that you allowed your publication to be so transparently used.

I think a public apology is in order. There are many Jewish schools who buy Scholastic books. Obviously they will look at other publishers unless this is satisfactorily resolved.

Stopping shipment: Don't you think a recall should be in order. Has Scholastic omitted any other countries in the past?

Dear Ms. Good,

Could someone from Scholastic please explain how this book passed through your review process and was released into the marketplace?

Thank you.

I believe that this was entirely inadvertent and not an intentional omission. I believe that Scholastic knows better than to deliberately antagonize the entire Jewish population of the world. Let us first accept Scholastic's admission of their error and allow them to correct it. Then let us move on.

I'm very sorry that you are so ignorant. It is happening everywhere. This is just the latest incident. Open your eyes and realize that the haters of Jews may have changed their tactics, but not their hearts. Open Jew hatred. Disguised as "Anti-Israel protest" is alive, well, and spreading. "Never Forget," has been forgotten by most of those calling themselves "progressive." They think they are so smart--so did the people of Germany in the 1940s. It was the so-called "progressives" that we're Hitler's followers from the beginning, and, yes, well-meaning Jews were among them. University students are learning right now to hate Israel; history repeats itself.

Glad to hear this. Not sure how it happened in the first place. I wonder who is to blame. Someone definitely did this on purpose whether it was Scholastic or not but someone should be responsible.

Thanks for rectifying it.

Dear Kyle Good and the rest of the Scholastic staff,

Thank you for your fast and totally reasonable response to the discovery of the error in Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt.

I've read a lot of disgusting comment threads in my time, but the comments on the Times of Israel article really take the cake.

There's the calls for boycotts of Scholastic, the calls for Israel to sue Scholastic (on what grounds?), saying Scholastic did this on purpose, the anti-Israel guy saying he now loves Scholastic, the thread where Rabbi Fink points out the truth and people dispute him- WOW.

And of course there's the apparent nearly total lack of literacy and ability to read the actual statement by Scholastic in the article.

All this is an incredible embarrassment for pro-Israel Jews, most of whom are not like the crazy article commenters. (I've cofounded two pro-Israel Jewish organizations.)

You do not deserve this vitriol.

glad to hear you've stopped shipment and are revising the map before reprinting. the original map in the Italian version could not have been an oversight. any map, in any part of the free (non-arab) world includes the state of Israel. this was definitely a politically, racially motivated act on the part of either the author, illustrator and or publisher. it should have been caught and corrected in the editing process. unfortunately, thousands of old books are out in the world and spreading global lies. parents and educators expect better vetting from scholastic.

Do not feel this was intentional. Will support SCHOLASTIC as always!

How do you recall the books already published without Israel? Have you not read Eye to Eye by William Koenig? The whirlwind will be reaped by Scholastic Inc. How did this happen? I do not believe it was inadvertent. It was on purpose and someone was hoping to get away with it. Who was the editor in charge? Do they still work there???

Thank you for taking such immediate action to correct the problem. Character is defined by our response to a mistake, not in the mistake itself.

The only proper response is a total recall of all books that have already shipped.

While I am grateful this has been acknowledged as incorrect, please note that in addition to the Jewish schools, there are many private Christians schools that find this either (1) abhorrent at best or (2) incompetent.

How about lets lose Scholastic and go back to reading the Bible and the Book of Genesis (--or a competitor to Scholastic who doesnt bow to the left wing agenda). We dont like you playing games--especially with our children.

How could such a distinguished publisher let this happen in the first place? Our school in New Jersey is considering cancelling our spring book fair in protest to send the message to your company that in this day and age, "inadvertent omission" of a country such as Israel is inexcusable. Stopping shipment is after the fact.

I am glad Scholastic is taking some action but I have to agree with some of the other comments in that there is more to this issue than Scholastic has addressed in it's response here. I am not someone who will be 'boycotting' Scholastic but I do think, in order for Scholastic to maintain it's reputation, it should do some due diligence to understand how this happened in the initial book, who the author is, and why it happened. I don't believe it's an inadvertent omission by the original author (though I believe perhaps the Scholastic editor who oversaw the translation may not have looked closely at the map) which is why this issue needs to be explored in a lot more depth. Finally, I think that Scholastic should do it's absolute best to find each and every book that was already sold, and to replace it with a book that has an accurate map. I look forward to seeing Scholastic's future actions to rectify this issue.

Providing misinformation in any book is unacceptable, and the books should be reprinted with corrections - i.e. adding back the map of Israel.

Nice try blaming Italty, but this explanation doesn't make a ton of sense once you think about it. If the book were translated, than you obviously had to re-do the illustration to include the names of the countries in English, not Italian. You had to replace Giordania with Jordan, Egitto with Egypt, and so on. So obviously SOMEONE in your employ engaged deeply with that illustration, looking closely at each name on the map to replace it within the style of the original artist, and never noticing or caring that Israele / Israel was nowhere to be found. And then the various levels of editors about the translators/illustrators similarly did not notice or care. I worked in publishing for many years, so it's clear that the levels upon levels or ignorance, apathy, or outright hatred are truly, truly disturbing to contemplate. You can try to slough off the blame, or you can acknowledge that your whole editorial review process is clearly broken and need to be reexamined at every level.

How did the "omission" of Israel happen in the first place for the English edition?
It sounds like someone needs to be re-assigned/removed/terminated.
What other editorial control did this person have?
What other Scholastic books are being reviewed for similar political bias against Israel?

I'd like to point out that the depiction of the border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia is also inaccurate. This would point to a mistake being made more than an intentional omission. And Scholastic is rectifying the mistake. If we punish everyone who makes a mistake, who will be unpunished? This is not a Palestinian or anti-Israel plot, even if it plays into anti-Israel folks' hands just a little. If you have EVIDENCE of actual anti-Israel feeling by Scholastic or the original Italian publisher, author, etc and EVIDENCE that it lead to this error, please make that information available. Otherwise I think you need to recognize that Scholastic is doing what it can to fix it.

I agree with the many requests seeking a complete accounting of how this happened at the original publisher in Italy, as well as how so many people at Scholastic who must have reviewed the English version either didn't consult a map or didn't care what it said. I do agree that incompetence, not malice, may be the cause of this but in that case an apology for that incompetence plus meaningful sanctions against those responsible is in order.

They need to recall the books. They act like they forgot to add a page 17. Scholastic publishes hate speech and their response is basically "OK, we won't do it again".

Surely, with the situation in the Middle East so volatile, with Muslim jihadists so violently vocal (and just violent), it should be obvious to you as a well-known publishing company that this was an egregious omission and quite shocking.

No patience and no understanding for a blatant anti-Israel action.

i couldnt believe that a country that exists could be omitted from a map. These books are for educational purposes for children.How could you make such a ridiculous mistake.I would like my children to be taught facts,not propoganda. Im glad youve recalled, half a well done but major error.

Yes, clearly Israel should be included. But in the interest of geographic literacy, consider the following:

May we assume that the new map will not also acknowledge, even if to a different degree, the Palestinian state recognized by the UN?

Additionally, will the reprint correct the map of the African continent to include South Sudan?

Additionally: Lesotho, Swaziland, and whatever other countries were omitted?

thank you

Sounds like someone tried to get away with this...but got caught...shame on you Scholastic

Thank you for making this correction. It should not have happened in the first place, and the person or persons responsible should be educated about not allowing their personal biases to infect children and scholastic books, but at least you are making it right..

Apologize for omitting Palestine in every world map and book about the Middle East and correct this error by publishing an addition to your country books.
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/the-world-includes-palestine-wouldnt-it-be...