Scholastic, Inc., reportedly the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, published and distributed a children’s book containing a map of the Middle East that omitted Israel. The book, entitled Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt, is part of the children’s Geronimo Stilton series. It was initially published in Italy and translated into English by Scholastic.
On Scholastic’s blog, the company’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications and Media Relations characterized the omission of Israel as “inadvertent,” but did not elaborate. Scholastic also confirmed that it would immediately stop shipment of the offending book, revise the map, and reprint it.
In a letter today to Scholastic, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) urged that additional steps be taken, for the sake of all the families, teachers and schools around the country who rely on Scholastic for high quality, accurate books and educational materials: (1) investigate how this omission occurred and why; (2) suspend relations with the book’s author, illustrator and Italian publisher until the investigation is completed and those responsible are identified; (3) once the investigation is completed, terminate relations with those responsible for omitting Israel from the map; (4) ensure that Scholastic’s editors and proofreaders have the requisite experience, competence and attention to detail to prevent such errors and omissions from recurring; (5) issue accurate replacement to those who have already purchased the book omitting Israel; (6) conduct a thorough review of Scholastic’s other books to verify their accuracy; (7) issue a public apology and a public statement reflecting all the steps that Scholastic will be taking to remedy the incident and prevent it from recurring.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
(1) Contact Scholastic and urge that all the above steps be taken.
Call 1-800-SCHOLASTIC (1-800-724-6527); or write to: Kyle Good, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Media Relations, Scholastic, Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
(2) Check your children’s books for anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content, including any anti-Semitic and anti-Israel errors and omissions, and report them to the ZOA. If a company like Scholastic can make this kind of mistake, any children’s book company is capable of it.
Read ZOA’s letter to Scholastic, Inc. here.