CHINA—Expressing deep regret for the historical errors in her latest novel, author Mary Pope Osborne of the popular children’s book series The Magic Tree House apologized Monday for showing young readers a completely fictional massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989 that never happened.
“While I hoped to educate children on the importance of democracy using a poignant moment in history, I now realize I should have checked my sources before sending Jack and Annie on a journey through time to witness some phony public mass execution,” Osborne said, making clear that there were never any tanks involved, not a single soldier that took aim, and certainly no casualties whatsoever.
“I was really using my imagination,” she added.
“Looking back, perhaps I should’ve written about a true event—like the day the world celebrated when the CPC took power—instead of minutely describing the nonexistent hailstorm of bullets that tore through a protestor’s flesh and sprayed Jack’s glasses in a red mist, along with 13 consecutive pages of internal dialogue where Jack debates taking his own life after witnessing swathes of people fall prey to their own government,” Osborne went on, admitting that she should’ve consulted a history book and focused the story on something real and not Annie being trapped in history and used as a guinea pig to test experimental drugs in a Chinese concentration camp.
“If I myself could go back in time, I would change the name to something more accurate than Magic Tree House: Martial Law In The Morning,” Osborne said. “Maybe something like Just A Normal Day In June.”
After thanking Chinese distributors for correcting her mistake, Osborne went on to say her next novel set in current day Hong Kong is extremely accurate and will be titled Magic Tree House: Futile Protests On A Friday.