It Changed

Several days ago, I promised a post on the changes in Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver and Lynn Rowe Reed (Holiday House). I believe educators and librarians on the CALIBK12 listserv are the ones who raised alarms regarding the racist images in this book. Originally published in 2003, the publishers took out the racist images in the 18th printing. I think these corrections were actually printed several years ago.

With its innovative approach to teaching punctuation and multicultural cast of characters, the book seems like a progressive addition to the Language Arts curriculum. But, try this before you read any further: write down a list of all the stereotypes you can think of about Black men. (Thank you, Dr. Laura Jimenez for teaching me this technique.)

List all done? No one will judge you for this list. These aren’t necessarily things you believe. Think of them as stereotypes you know everyone else believes.

Now, considering all those ways Black men are judged to be inferior and then scan these images to see how they reinforce the stereotypes that you listed. IMG_6116IMG_6117

If you use the old edition of this book in a lesson, you will reinforce stereotypes with your students.

Here are photos of the changes made in the book. These are the only changes I observed.