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"Only Indians lived there", The Washington Post reported. "We believe it is not beneficial to the body of literature to sweep away her name as though the perspectives in her books never existed".

The ALSC board made the recommendation in May, noting Wilder's name "has painful associations for many".

Director of Chicago's American Indian Center, Heather Miller, said she read the books during childhood, and didn't see her ethnicity reflected in the stories.

Wilder, born in 1867, published her first "Little House on the Prairie" book in 1932; the seven subsequent novels about pioneer life in the west were published through 1943, just 14 years before she died. The award, reserved for authors or illustrators who have made "significant and lasting contribution to children's literature", will no longer be called the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award".

The Association of Library Service to Children's (ALSC) board voted unanimously on Saturday to rename the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award" as the "Children's Literature Legacy Award".

In "Little House on the Prairie", Wilder wrote, "Their Faces were bold and fierce and bad".

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An editor at Harper's chose to change the word "people" to "settlers" in 1953, though that did little to silence critics who characterized such wording as racist, according to The Washington Post.

Something readers may tend to forget is that Little House on the Prairie and the related books in the series are something of a hybrid in terms of historical fiction.

"The only good Indian is a dead Indian", one character says. But let's just take a minute to remember the terrible way Wilder described the Native Americans her family encountered.

"While the answer to racism is not to impose purity retroactively or to disappear titles from shelves, no 8-year-old Dakota child should have to listen to an uncritical reading of Little House on the Prairie". Previously, the organization had noted the "anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments" in Wilder's writing. The racial content in her books "should be discussed in our modern perspective and addressed directly", the group said, "rather than hidden or avoided".

"Each generation revises the literary canon". Fraser stated that Wilder's work "vividly, unforgettably ... still tells truths about white settlement, homesteading and the violent appropriation of Indian land and culture".


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