Home Lifestyle Exclusive Books ‘sets the record straight’

Exclusive Books ‘sets the record straight’

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The store said it was sensitive to the current global issues transpiring between Israel and Palestine as it believed that they provided a diverse range of perspectives through the literature the store offers.

Exclusive Books has denied claims that it pulled a children’s colouring book – which tells the story of Palestine – off its shelves.

EXCLUSIVE Books has denied claims that it pulled a children’s colouring book – which tells the story of Palestine – off its shelves, saying it does not censor or approve books for sale in its stores.

In a statement “setting the record straight”, the bookseller store said: “We can confirm that the book From the River to the Sea, a children’s colouring book providing insight into the story of Palestine, is available in some Exclusive Books stores.

“The book is written by Nathi Ngubane and published by Social Bandit Media. Exclusive Books is a chain of independent bookstores that facilitates the sale of books.

“As a company, we do not censor or approve books for sale in our stores. Each store independently selects and stocks the books they wish to sell, as we do not have a central purchasing function. As each store buys books based on their customers’ needs, not all stores carry the book.

“However, our booksellers can order any book that a customer wishes to purchase. At Exclusive Books, we carry a wide range of literature, including controversial works, which enables us to be a refuge for freedom of speech and to encourage public discourse essential for furthering discussions on matters of public interest.”

The store said it was sensitive to the current global issues transpiring between Israel and Palestine as it believed that they provided a diverse range of perspectives through the literature the store offers. “Our intention is never to offend anyone,” it said.

The statement came after a number of readers and some NGOs expressed concern that the colouring book for children aged 6 to 10 years had suddenly disappeared from the shelves.

Some took to social media about the experience of trying to buy the book from Exclusive Books, including that their orders were allegedly cancelled. They accused the store of censorship and marching to the orders of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) which criticised the book and rejected it, claiming it attempted to indoctrinate children.

The book publishers, Social Bandit Media, also reported that the illustrator Ngubane was “bombarded with hate messages” following SAJBD’s statement.

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