Statement from Children’s Books Daily

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To my wonderful readers,

You deserve an explanation.

My husband died suddenly a few months ago. My two little girls and I, and extended family, have been broken by the loss of a wonderful husband, father, son, brother and friend.

In saying that, an enormous community of friends, new and old, near and far, online and offline, have stepped in to make our lives easier and to help us as we establish our new normal. We have been inundated with love in the form of lasagne, an education fund, groceries, washing of clothes, school runs and chocolate.

Writers have always been a strong presence in our village. In response to our unimaginable grief, writers from around the country sharpened their pencils and devised a plan to help in the best way they could offer – their words. They offered to take over my blog—my pride and joy, my own tiny slice of the internet – so that it would not suffer the neglect that so often results from sudden trauma.

They have done justice to my little blog so that when I found the strength to return to it, I wouldn’t find it in a dilapidated state.

I will be eternally grateful to these people for their act of kindness.

Unfortunately, while many hands make light work they can also mean that due consideration is not given to every word. One of the contributors posted a piece last month on ‘Book Week Costumes to Inspire’ which gave 23 costume suggestions based on a current list of children’s favourite books, one of which was ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne. The inclusion of this book has been widely, and rightly, condemned.

I have since removed the offending post and apologised for it. Here and now, I would like to take the opportunity to reiterate my apology.

As the owner of this blog, I apologise unreservedly for the inclusion of ‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas’ in a post about Book Week costumes. The writer had no thought beyond honouring a much loved children’s book. I acknowledge and own what a thoughtlessly insensitive mistake this was.

Robust online feedback was swift and I personally need to take a short offline break to fully recover. I greatly enjoy discussion and debate online but I do so hope we can at all times remain kind and respectful when mistakes are made, so that a myriad of voices can be heard and represented – this is surely how we best educate others.

I look forward to continuing to use this space to pursue my passion for sharing quality children’s and YA literature, and offer my thanks to the very many good people who have supported my family and I these past few months.

MeganSpaces in Bedroom for Books

*COMMENTS ON THIS POST ARE NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU.*

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Well said Megan – so glad you are able to pen this – and have been so surrounded by a village that you can stand tall this busy week & keep working as well as hiatus; the passion you have for life & literature must not be subdued by anything negative or hurtful. Your husband would be so proud of you. What a brave & mature woman you are. Love your work & your blog. And my newfound voluntary work in a school library because of your influence! T x
    PS I’ve just started reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas for the first time; and also picture book The Dot by Peter H Reynolds which makes me encouraged that “ripples” can start, from a dot on a page, or even from mistakes that are made, to lead to some Good.

  2. Megan, I am in awe of you. Your dedication and enthusiasm as librarian, teacher and preacher for children’s books is infectious. This website is a world-class resource; I doubt there is anything that stacks up, anywhere. Importantly, you write from the heart and with transparency; for me this is engaging and refreshing. Take the time you need and know that you have been making a difference, bookshelf by bookshelf and household by household. Be kind to yourself and love to the Daley girls.

  3. Megan,
    So sorry you felt the need to do this. Sending you and your gorgeous girls much love. Take whatever time you need to feel however you need to feel.

  4. Hello Megan, have not previously commented but wanted to let you know that I love reading your beautiful blog. It is a fantastic resource for parents and I very much enjoy reading your words (or the words of your literary support team). Lots of love to you and your girls. xxx

  5. So proud of you – your honesty, transparency and integrity. Your website is vital for children, parents, schools and communities everywhere.

  6. What a beautifully written post Megan. I have followed your blog for a while. I am sorry that the situation arose that triggered this post. I feel for you and your beautiful girls and hope that you can now have the space you need to process your loss. 🙂

  7. Dear Megan

    I am so sorry that my thoughtless mistake has caused this to happen on your wonderful blog. It seems unfair that you should pay for my lapse of judgement and I would give anything to take back my insensitive words.

    Bron

  8. I’m sorry you felt the need to apologise yet again. Take as much time as you need. What’s been said has been said and dealt with enough, both by you and your wonderful team. Don’t forget I live near the cheesecake shop… Love to you and yours xx

  9. Dear Megan, your blog is wonderful and inspirational. The internet would be bereft without your voice and that of the village supporting you. I feel so sad that during this time of such personal challenge you have also had to deal with the trauma of an online storm due the mistake of a friend that has since been extensively apologised for. For someone who has already suffered unimaginably, I hope your slice of the internet quickly returns to the positive and supportive place it should be. I also hope that we, your readers, can all show you love and support, and demonstrate that we are deserving of your precious and scarce time. Love, Belinda xx

  10. So sorry for your loss, Megan. I did come across the blog and feedback but respect how both you and Maxabella have addressed the issue in a respectful way. All the best.

  11. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4812954/Website-slammed-idea-children-dress-holocaust-victim.html
    “(Dr. Dvir Abramovich, Australia’s Anti-Discrimination Commission chairman, suggests that whomever) wrote the text visit Auschwitz so they can grasp an idea of ‘the genocide that Hitler and his regime unleashed’ on their countless victims and ‘understand that this bizarre inclusion was tasteless, hurtful and offensive.'”
    Dear Megan, if Children’s Book Daily apologizes unreservedly why do you keep up a CBD facebook post where you personally chide and threaten various justified condemners of the offensive blog post and try to create yourself as some sort of victim of online bullying. You maintain the false accusation that your children were threatened and allow the post where your “fans” call you a victim and the critics “trolls” and “bullies” to stand. If you truly felt remorse you’d remove said FB post where your “fans” attack the rightful condemners of THE BLOG POST (and not you, or your family, which is an incredibly insulting accusation.) calling them “terrorists” and “shaming gone too far.” We are so sorry for your loss, and pray for your healing. But, your false claims of being bullied into silence stand. I don’t hear/see any silence from you here or on the CBD facebook page. You blocked critics of the antisemitic post so they can’t reply to said threats and accusations from you and your fans. You maintain a post calling the deserved feedback “unacceptable in the extreme” and liked said posts from fans condemning the critics. Leaving up this FB post where another of your fans calls the critics of the antisemitic blog post “TERRORISTS” shows how CBD REALLY feels and that is why your apology still rings hollow. And yet you keep this up, Megan, after being asked to take it down: https://www.facebook.com/ChildrensBooksDaily/
    August 20 at 11:27pm ·
    Part of being a writer is editing, and part of being an educator is learning.

    • Dear Karen,
      I’m very happy to email you screenshots of private messages and emails with threats and appalling accusations about myself and my children. I have chosen not to share them publicly because I believe everyone deserves a second chance.

      The worst offenders in this mess chose to send private messages rather than public criticisms on my Facebook page. I have blocked ONE critic with ONE comment that went way too far and I have every right to do this – this is my space on the Internet. Just as you can block anyone who deeply offends you, I can also do the same; I am all for debate and accepting feedback and have had plenty of it, all of which is public and visible – bar the one person that chose to go too far.

      I have absolutely no more to say, my apology stands, a mistake was made and apologised for. I can assure you that my claims of harassment are anything but false and I sincerely hope you never suffer the same.

      Kind Regards,
      Megan Daley

  12. The following post was not even written by you, but at times you yourself reply to your “haters” under two different IDs shows your extremely high level of narcissism and delusions of grandeur enforced by your fans– as in the statement “Your website is vital for children, parents, schools, and communities everywhere.”–who? This is not about YOU, Megan or Max. This is about 11 million people exterminated by hatred just 79 years ago and you and Bron Maxabella displayed such astounding ignorance, the chairman of the Australian Anti-Discrimination Commission and the Daily Mail felt that had to comment on it. Not once have you talked about the suffering of the Holocaust or how you agree that mandatory Holocaust education is absolutely VITAL in Australia NOW or donated to the ADC or a Jewish organization or a Holocaust Awareness organization but just “I,I,I, me, me, me” and YOUR suffering! It’s as is the criticism hurt YOU more than your oversight hurt everyone else. You tone police the valid critics and act as if your pain from receiving the criticism is more important than their criticism. This is the essence of white feminism/activism: complete ignorance to the pain of others and only indulging your own pain from being criticized. I ask again you take down the following post, and I will be contacting the ADC of Australia because you and your fans CHOOSE TO SLANDER valid critics of your ignorance. How did this one person go too far on this page? I am not talking about your private messages that you refuse to disclose, I am talking about you playing the victim and saying your suffering is worse than that which you and Bron Maxabella caused with your ignorance and self-centeredness on this public Facebook page of CDC. This following post shows you in your spiteful victim mode replete with your own threats:https://www.facebook.com/ChildrensBooksDaily/
    “Pipe down now” “you shut us down and bully us into silence. What you are doing is unacceptable in the extreme.” “I did take a hiatus. I was in hiatus. I came back online after being viciously trolled – the level of private and public trolling I have experienced here is appalling. I sincerely hope you are pleased with your efforts to silence a blog about children’s books.” “terrorists” “let it go”
    When you finally (if ever) GET OVER YOURSELVES, Max and Megan, read this: http://www.yadvashem.org/

    • What vile, disgusting hate you spew, Karen. It’s not even remotely ‘criticism’, it’s hate, pure and simple. And I find it appalling given the plight of your primary issue here – which, ironically, was also about hate. Not one person here is denying the horror of the Holocaust, nor are they comparing the suffering of millions of Jewish people with Megan’s personal trauma. The world is a frightening place right now – why make it tougher for one person to get through their day? After both Megan and Bron have apologised countless times – to keep relentlessly knocking them down….now what does that say about you?

    • The internet has become a place “where everybody’s either a magnificent hero or a sickening villain, even though we know that’s not true about our fellow humans. What’s true is that we are clever and stupid; what’s true is that we’re grey areas.” – Jon Ronson

      Karen, are the above comments really who you are? Do you really feel ok with what you have put out there in the world under your name?

      Are you really a person who is happy to be so nasty, repeatedly to someone who has not only apologised, but was not even the person who wrote the original comments? Someone who has a had a devastating personal loss?

      Please, step back, stop with your attacks and show even a little kindness.

      Your comments are hurtful and totally unnecessary.

      Be a better person than this.

      • LWT and Joanne have just proven my point again. This is not over your heads. On to mandatory Holocaust Education, how about a post about that? And teacher/librarian education.

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