“A World of Pure Elimination” Roald Dahl’s Works Get Reworked
My childhood obsession with the work of Roald Dahl is well-documented. I’ve read (and re-read) everything he’s published. I can even spell Roald Dahl correctly without even thinking about it (*polishes nails on shirt*).
So I definitely noticed the recent flurry of news articles about how “Roald Dahl’s books have been edited to stop calling people fat so much“.
My first thought was, “Yep. About time.”
Because there’s some brutal stuff in there, folks. On top of the body shaming, there are racist, sexist, ableist, and other -ist things that no children’s author would put in a book today. Look, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has already been subject to multiple revisions (by the author himself) since being published.
People who get up in arms about this stuff typically haven’t read his books since childhood. They’ve never had to read the words out loud to kids.
One librarian’s opinion here, but I look at it this way: times change. Thank god. And making these stories more acceptable to modern audiences isn’t the world coming to an end, it’s actually a good thing. I’m feeling a very strong sense of déjà vu here.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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