One of the world’s most successful authors of children’s books has accused his publisher of censoring his work without his permission.
RL Stine, whose Goosebumps series has sold more than 300 million copies and is the second best-selling book series after Harry Potter, said Monday that the books had been purged without his knowledge.
Scholastic has made more than 100 changes, changing words like “chubby” to “cheerful” and replacing “crazy” with “stupid.”
Scholastic insisted the changes were necessary to protect young people’s mental health, but Stine said he was not consulted.
“The stories don’t add up,” the Ohio-born author tweeted in response to a reader’s complaint about the adjustments.
“I’ve never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me.’
RL Stine’s Goosebumps series (pictured) has sold more than 300 million books worldwide. On Monday, he denied censoring his books
The move came after it emerged that Roald Dahl’s books had been rewritten, sparking an uproar among his fans.
Publisher Penguin was then forced to publish a ‘classic’ edition of the books, which remained unchanged.
Goosebumps became a big hit with teens in the 1990s, selling about four million copies a month at the height of their success.
Stine, 79, wrote 62 books in the series and has previously described how to write a book in six days.
The franchise spawned a movie starring Jack Black in 2015, which grossed $158 million at the box office.
Scholastic’s changes, first reported by The Times, included the removal of a reference to fat people with “at least six chins” who had been abducted by aliens.
The revised version now says people are “at least six feet tall.”
In a 1998 re-release of the Bride of the Living Dummy title, the ventriloquist dummy Slappy knocks a girl unconscious with a love tap, but the villain now casts a magic spell.
In the 1996 book Attack of the Jack-O’-Lanterns, a character is described as “tall and handsome, with dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile.” Lee is African American, and he’s kind of proud when he walks and acts really cool, like the rappers in MTV videos.”
The revised version now calls the character “tall and handsome, with brown skin, dark brown eyes, and a great, warm smile.” He’s kind of proud when he walks and acts really cool.”
Attack of the Jack O’Lanterns has had multiple edits by the Scholastic publishing house
The Goosebumps franchise spawned a movie starring Jack Black in 2015 that earned $158 million at the box office
In 1997’s The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, the boys from summer camp “whistled loudly,” rather than having given “a loud wolf whistle.”
Another book, I Live In Your Basement, originally features the main character asking, “Did he really expect me to be his slave—forever?”
The protagonist now asks, “Did he really expect me to do this — forever?”
Scholastic defended the changes, saying they were designed to protect mental health.
“For more than 30 years, the Goosebumps series has brought millions of children to read through humor with just the right amount of scary,” the statement read.
Scholastic takes its responsibility to continue to bring this classic adolescent brand to each new generation.
“When titles were reissued several years ago, Scholastic revised the text to keep the language current and avoid imagery that could negatively impact a young person’s view of themselves today, with a particular focus on mental health.”
How Roald Dahl’s stories changed
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
2001 – Mrs. Salt was a very fat creature with short legs and she was blowing like a rhinoceros
2022 – Mrs Salt was so breathless she was blowing like a rhinoceros
2001 – Mrs. Twit may have been ugly and beastly, but she wasn’t stupid
2022 – Mrs. Twit may have been beastly, but she wasn’t stupid.
2001 – Get your mom or dad
2022 – Get your family
2001 – “BFG,” she said, “could you please tell these rather stupid characters exactly what to do.”
2022 – “BFG,” she said, “will you please tell them exactly what to do.”
THE HUGE CROCODILE
2001 – We eat little boys and girls
2022 – We eat small children
2001 – ‘I beg you to tell me Mr. Hoppy! I will be your slave for life.’
2022 – ‘I beg you to tell me Mr. Hoppy! You will be my hero for life.’
FANTASTIC MR FOX
2001 – Bunce, the little pot-bellied dwarf, looked up to Bean…
2022 – Bunce looked up to Bean…
JAMES AND THE BIG PEACH
2001 – They were like a couple of hunters who just shot an elephant
2022 – They were like a couple of hunters who just shot their prey