Many of you have expressed concerns about our How to Survive Anything titles, and we want to thank you for your passionate responses.
Publishing books is never easy, and even the best of us make mistakes. In this case, our mistake was to take advice that could apply to anyone — of any gender — and suggest that only boys or girls should take it. We recognize that society is at its best when everyone is able to live up to their full potential, regardless of what sex they were born into.
Boys can do anything. They can make speeches, have crushes, deal with zits, babysit, and handle bullying. Girls can do anything. They can go whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, parachute diving, hiking in the woods, and explore space. Children - regardless of gender - are full of potential.
Many of you noted that two books in our “How To Survive Anything!” series (“HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING! BOYS ONLY” and “HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING! GIRLS ONLY”) implied otherwise.
For this, we are sincerely sorry.
These two titles have had very limited distribution to date, and no further copies will be made available. We’ve asked Amazon to remove their product pages for these two books (one, two) and we’ll be asking our retailers to do the same, so that we don’t continue to profit from sexism.
In the future we may be reintroducing the books, but this time with more marketplace-appropriate titles (non-gendered, along the lines of “HOW TO SURVIVE: DISASTERS” and “HOW TO SURVIVE: SOCIETY”) - and don’t worry, zombie attacks will remain in both books! We can never be too prepared, after all!
Again, we thank you for your feedback, and we will do better in the future. We promise.
Many readers have expressed concerns about our How to Survive Anything titles, and we want to thank you for your passionate responses. The two titles have had very limited distribution to date, and no further copies will be made available.
Please check out the many other titles kids can discover this summer on our summer reading booklists, available on our Summer Challenge page and our Pinterest boards.
Again, we thank you for your feedback.
So yeah, turns out it’s not really sexism if you don’t sell that many copies?
I think it is good that they did eventually respond to the concerns (way better than their initial response, which was to simply retweet praise for some of the other books they publish) and it’s good that, even if they can’t see that anything was necessarily WRONG with a book called “HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING: GIRLS ONLY” with chapter headings like “How To Say You’re Sorry” that the boys don’t get, they can at least recognize market pressures when they see them.
But I really do think it’s too bad they couldn’t just publish these books without the stupid sexist theming and titles. Edit them into one book and you’ve got a bunch of fun, largely fantasy survival themes mixed in with some real-life advice that lots of kids face on a day-to-day basis.
Unfortunately, that’s not the sort of book Scholastic seems interested in publishing.