By Armando Tinoco
UPDATE, Mon. March 6: R.L. Stine is reacting on social media to reports Goosebumps is being edited with more inclusive language.
“The stories aren’t true. I’ve never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me,” Stine tweeted.
Scholastic shared a statement regarding the edits to the children’s horror book series.
“For more than 30 years, the Goosebumps series has brought millions of kids to reading through humor with just the right amount of scary,” read the statement. “Scholastic takes its responsibility seriously to continue bringing this classic adolescent brand to each new generation. When re-issuing titles several years ago, Scholastic reviewed 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.”
PREVIOUSLY: R.L. Stine is revising his popular Goosebumps books series and making edits to the published work with a more inclusive language. The move from Scholastic comes after Penguin hired sensitivity readers to edit Roald Dahl’s books from language deemed inappropriate in today’s world.
However, there was so much backlash over Penguin’s move that the publisher said they would make available unrevised versions of Dahl’s books later this year under the banner “The Roald Dahl Classic Collection,” giving readers the option to choose which one to read.
The difference to what is happening with Goosebumps is that the original author is making the changes himself and The Times is reporting that over 100 edits have been made to the children’s horror novels. One example of a revision that was made was in a book where aliens abducted large people where in the original book they were described as having “at least six chins,” the revised version now says the people are “at least six feet six.”
In a reissue of the 1998 title Bride of the Living Dummy, the ventriloquist dummy Slappy knocks out a girl unconscious with a “love tap” but the villain now uses a magic spell. In the 1996 book Attack of the Jack-O’-Lanterns, a character is described as “tall and good-looking, with dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile. Lee is African-American, and he sort of struts when he walks and acts real cool, like the rappers on MTV videos.” The revised version now calls the character “tall and good-looking, with brown skin, dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile. He sort of struts when he walks and acts real cool.”
In The Curse of Camp Cold Lake from 1997 the boys of summer camp are no longer described as giving “a loud wolf-whistle” and are now said to have “whistled loudly.” That same year I Live in Your Basement! was published where the protagonist of the novel asks, “did he really expect me to be his slave – forever?” The protagonist now asks, “Did he really expect me to do this – forever?”
In Say Cheese and Die – Again!, schoolgirls were described as having “crushes” on the headmaster but that line has now been deleted. In Don’t Go to Sleep!, a boy called Anna Karenina “girl’s stuff” but now says it’s “not interesting.”
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The big difference is that the author is making the changes. That’s totally an author’s right. If they want to change the wording, or events (see the first version of The Hobbit) or rename the villain after their ex, they can do that.
When someone who is not the author bowlderizes a book, THAT is wrong. It’s not their book. Publish it as it is or don’t publish it at all.
Good for Stine!! When you know better, do better!!!
Trying to sell more books after it’s become irrelevant eh?
who gives a shit? are you reading these books? you know they edited the N word out of Twain’s books over a decade ago, right? and his books are actual masterpieces not trash quicky junk food books.
This is a bit ridiculous but i loved the Stine books and if this means more people discover them, all the better.
RL Stine is desperate.
I still think it’s ridiculous, but it IS different from the recent Dahl/Fleming edits because the author is still alive and it’s his prerogative.
This is just a marketing ploy to sell more of the old versions of the books. R.L. Stine is hoping his “old” books will shoot to the top of the Amazon charts like what happened with Dr. Seuss in 2020.
The problem with your conspiracy theory is that the old books aren’t in print and haven’t been for decades. They literally can’t shoot to the top of any charts at all.
Yeah, they stopped printing the Bible ages ago… Can’t get that one any more…. WTF are you talking about? They publish these books and many older books all the time. They didn’t “stop for decades.” LOL. It is only 2023; we are not that far into the future yet.
You seem defensive and threatened. Why? Also you are incorrect. Don’t post false information that is easy to google.
it takes 2 seconds to disprove everything you just said. they are currently on amazon. wtf are you talking about?
I honestly can’t tell if this is meant to be a joke or not. It seriously reads like satire on the whole ridiculous Dahl/Fleming situations, as though it’s an article straight from The Onion.
The world is now a better place.
No, it isn’t. Unfortunate at best, harmful to the human race at worst.
…they were definitely being sarcastic.
Was being sarcastic. Weird times it’s more upsetting that a Goosebumps book is being changed for PC than its existing to begin with.
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By Armando Tinoco