‘Goosebumps’ Author Says Woke Publisher Edited His Books Without His Knowledge

In the wake of the fury surrounding the woke alteration of famed author Roald Dahl’s classic books, the author of the “Goosebumps” series, which trails only J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” book series in sales among children’s books, pointed out that his publisher censored his work without his permission.

“Goosebumps” author R.L. Stine reacted after The Times initially reported that he had joined Scholastic to edit his books as part of a 2018 ebook re-release, and over 100 edits had been made. The Times later corrected the error, acknowledging the books “were changed without his knowledge.”

“The stories aren’t true. I’ve never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me,” Stine replied when a reader deplored the changes.

Lindsey, the stories aren’t true. I’ve never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me.

— R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine) March 6, 2023

Scholastic issued a statement saying, “For more than 30 years, the Goosebumps series has brought millions of kids to reading through humor with just the right amount of scary. 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,” Scholastic concluded.

Some of the edits made by Scholastic include “cheerful” instead of “plump,” removing villains making victims “slaves,” removing a reference to wolf-whistling, and removing descriptions of one character as looking like a “bowling ball” and having “squirrel cheeks.”

Sixty-two books were published in the original series, and the 2015 film “Goosebumps,” starring Jack Black, made $158 million at the box office. In the 1990s, the “Goosebumps” books sold roughly four million copies a month when they were at their hottest.

The publisher of Roald Dahl, who wrote “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda,” “James and the Giant Peach,” and “The BFG,” among other works, collaborated with the Roald Dahl Story Co., which manages the works’ copyright and trademarks, to make hundreds of alterations in order not to offend anyone with Dahl’s original works.

The Roald Dahl Story Co. admitted they had worked with Inclusive Minds, which monitors children’s literature for inclusion, diversity, and accessibility, The Washington Post reported.

The Telegraph illuminated some of the changes made to Dahl’s books, and their report caused author Salman Rushdie, himself the subject of an Iranian death warrant for his work, to tweet, “Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.”

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