“This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind,” Gribben told Publisher’s Weekly, speaking from his office at Auburn University at Montgomery. “Race matters in these books. It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.”
Gribben added that the replacement would make the novel, which has been disappearing from grade school curricula, more accessible.
“My daughter went to a magnet school and one of her best friends was an African-American girl. She loathed the book, could barely read it,” he said.