Scholastic will pull A Birthday Cake for George Washington by Ramin Ganeshram after backlash against the book because of its depiction of slavery.
The children’s book is about a slave named Hercules who is baking a cake for the former president. “This story, told in the voice of Delia, Hercules’s young daughter, is based on real events, and underscores the loving exchange between a very determined father and his eager daughter, who are faced with an unspoken, bittersweet reality,” explains the book’s description. “No matter how delicious the president’s cake turns out to be, Delia and Papa will not taste the sweetness of freedom.”
The School Library Journal called the book, “highly problematic” explaining that “young readers without sufficient background knowledge about the larger context of American slavery may come away with a dangerously rosy impression of the relationship between slaves and slave owners, and those with a deeper understanding are likely to find this depiction offensive.”
The polarizing book has earned hundreds of one-star ratings on Amazon, as well as about seventy five star ratings.