Shalom Life | April 19, 2014

Scholastic Books are 'Edited by Interns'

Following this week's controversy where Israel was removed from a map in a Scholastic-published children's book, a former proofreader has spoken out on the company, saying the majority of books are edited by students

By: Daniel Koren & Graham Sigurdson

Published: November 15th, 2013 in News » World

Scholastic Books are 'Edited by Interns'

Earlier this week, Scholastic Inc. was caught smack in the middle of controversy, after it came to light that one of the books from the popular Geronimo Stilton series, Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt, had a map of the Middle East printed in its opening pages, one which completely and utterly lacks any mention of the State of Israel.

Since then, naturally, Jewish agencies and pro-Israel groups have been demanding an explanation from the world's largest publisher of children's books.

Yesterday, the publishing house issued a formal apology. “Scholastic is immediately stopping shipment on this title, revising the map, and going back to reprint. We regret the omission which was in the original version of the book published in Italy and was translated by our company for English language distribution. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter,” they said in an official statement.

Reports also claim that Scholastic will reprint and republish the book with a new map included, one which does not omit Israel, but they still did not offer an explanation on how such an incident would take place.

Now, as more information seems to flow off the pages, a former employee of Scholastic has come out of the woodwork, offering an explanation for this sloppy, and possibly anti-Israel, agenda.

Speaking to Times of Israel, the former student employee (who wished to remain anonymous) said that the proofreaders at the company were typically “bored out of their minds,” and had no specific knowledge of that which they were meant to review.

“As an intern, I haven’t majored in history and I don’t have any degrees in geography or mapping. They basically just trusted me to use any references at my disposal and check the map that I had been given against the internet or reference books of any sort,” said the student.

She speculated that almost 75 percent of Scholastic’s proofreaders were interns, and not full time staff.

No wonder they were able to grow to industry leader, if all their labour is free. As the Geronimo Stilton series is originally transcribed in Italian, it's a wonder more clerical and editorial errors haven't been found.

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