NHMC Denounces Scholastic’s Attempted Censorship of Maggie Tokuda-Hall

April 19, 2023

Love in the Library | Photo: Candlewick Press

NHMC Denounces Scholastic’s Attempted Censorship of Maggie Tokuda-Hall

A Statement from Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)

Last week, Maggie Tokuda-Hall spoke out about Scholastic’s insensitive edits to her book, Love in the Library—a story inspired by her grandparents’ love story in a World War II Japanese internment camp. Scholastic offered to license her book only if she consented to remove all mentions of the word “racism” in the story and author’s note. NHMC denounces Scholastic’s actions, which disregard the importance of telling stories that accurately depict the experiences of people of color.

Scholastic’s revised version of Love in the Library

Eliminating the discussion of racism in a book set in a time when the United States incarcerated innocent Asian-Americans is censorship that demonstrates the publishing industry’s long history of misrepresenting communities of color. While Scholastic apologized, claiming that it failed to seek guidance from partners in its Rising Voices Collection, which seeks to elevate diverse stories, the publishing industry must stop relying solely on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs to advise these decisions. Instead, they must commit to hiring and promoting more writers, editors, staff, and executives of color. When people of color own, create, and make decisions surrounding the content that is produced about us, we can ensure that we are accurately depicted in the media.


As of 2019, 76% of overall publishing industry staff are White, while only 61.6% of the United States population is White. People of color’s voices are being diminished by those in power who do not understand the experiences of historically and intentionally marginalized communities. The way to create change is to increase meaningful representation of people of color in the publishing industry.


NHMC urges publishing companies to hire more people of color in the publishing industry, genuinely listen to their employees of color, and take action to better represent the diverse communities of storytelling. The Latino community is particularly underrepresented in publishing, as only 6% of staff are Latino, even though we make up approximately 20% of the United States population. NHMC will continue to work with advocacy, literary, and civil rights organizations to champion increased representation in the publishing industry.


Yours in the Movement,

Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition