The publishers, Puffin Books, are in the news because of their re-write of certain passages in Roald Dahl’s books.
Yes RD held some deeply discriminatory views. And he also wrote characters that weren’t portrayed kindly.
But do all characters have to be portrayed positively? Is the world 100% positive? In almost all books there will be characters that are written in a less than positive light – so what do we do?
Do we read the books (or teach them, or read them to our kids) critically, with some sort of acknowledgement of the time in which they were written or by whom, and how that varies from our cultural understanding today?
Or do we let other people tell us what we can and can’t read? What words are or aren’t safe to be published.
There is a big difference between encouraging inclusion and being paternalistic. I know I don’t want to be told what’s ok for me to read, and what needs to be diluted or censored.
I can make the decision to read (or not read) a book for myself. Can’t we all (including parents)?