Scholastic Pulls Children’s Book For The Way It Depicts Happy Slaves

AP Images for Scholastic Inc.

Scholastic announced Sunday it was pulling “A Birthday Cake for George Washington” from shelves after it received criticism for the way it depicted happy slaves.

The publishing company wrote in a news release that all returns will be accepted and that the book needed more context on the “evils of slavery.”

“We do not believe this title meets the standards of appropriate
presentation of information to younger children, despite the positive
intentions and beliefs of the author, editor, and illustrator,” the statement reads.

The book is about an enslaved worker who bakes the president a birthday cake alongside her daughter, according to The New York Times.

Here’s the cover:

The publishing company had previously defended the book, saying it approached the topic with the “utmost care” and that it depicted a story of slaves who were living in “near-freedom” and were happy because they found pleasure in cooking, according to the Times.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Jerde is a newswriter based in New York. Her bylines have appeared in The Star-Ledger, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Columbus Dispatch. She graduated from Ohio University. Send emails to sara@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow her @SaraJerde.
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