Early in The Sword of Summer, Riordan's character is talking about his mother. Weezie said this to Riordan:
Hi, Rick! Can you explain this passage? Native readers know spirit animals are sacred... why include this?The passage Weezie asked about is this:
It's hard to describe her. To really understand Natalie Chase, you had to meet her. She used to joke that her spirit animal was Tinker Bell from Peter Pan.Predictably, Weezie got piled on for asking the question. This morning on Twitter, I asked Riordan if he could delete that line from future printings (as before, here's a screen cap followed by the content of the screen cap):
Just spoke to my editor and we will delete that in all future printings. Thank you for pointing this out. Apologies for my insensitivity.In response, some people thanked him. Others said his decision was unnecessary. I'm amongst those thanking him--and Weezie, too--for bringing attention to it. He joins Julie Murphy and others who take decisive and public steps about using that phrase.
I think Riordan's public decision tells us that he is aware that Native children read his books and that he wants to do right by them. In doing right by them, he's also doing right for all children who read his books.
As the title of this post indicates, this is a thank you. To those who speak up, and those who listen and respond, as Riordan did. This post will be added to AICL's growing list of links to books that writers change when they revisit content like "spirit animal."
If you're on Twitter, follow Weezie. And check out Weezie's Whimsical Writing.
Update, April 27, 2017:
People continue to pile on Weezie. Someone tweeted to Riordan about it, and he replied that:
All choices about and responsibility for my text are mine. If people want to be mad at someone, they should get mad at me and me only.Here's a screen cap of that:
*My apologies to Mr. Riordan. In the initial post, I incorrectly identified his book as "The Summer of the Sword." My error has been corrected, thanks to a reader at ALSC. I deeply value email from those who point out my errors. Please don't hesitate to send them!