The publisher pulled a book from stores and is offering refunds to those who purchased it because it depicts a falsely positive view of American slavery.
Ramin Ganeshram’s book, “A Birthday Cake for George Washington,” tells the story of “head chef” Hercules, who, along with his daughter, Delia, is trying to bake a cake for the president.
The book’s storyline and illustrations give a rosy view of what it was like to be a slave.
Its Amazon reviews are brutal, with 77 percent of the nearly 300 reviewers giving it just one star. Here are a few lowlights:
“A troubling depiction of American slavery.”
“An insulting tale that sprinkles glitter on rape, murder, torture and servitude.”
“… This is just wrong on so many levels.”
“It’s like Anne & Otto Frank baking cookies for Adolf Hitler on Christmas.”
Scholastic got the message—loud and clear.
On Sunday, it announced that it would pull the book. Here’s an excerpt from Scholastic’s statement, which was published in full on its blog: