Superfudge, first published in 1980, the opposite was done: anachronisms were actually added. In the 2007 edition we have out from the library, narrator Peter Hatcher requests a laptop, an MP3 player and CDs rather than what I believe was a tape player in the original. I think Are you There God? It's Me, Margaret was likewise "updated" with regard to feminine sanitary products! These changes are supposed to make these books more "accessible" to today's readers. But in my opinion, adding in these anachronisms is a big mistake and here's why.
1. Isn't one of the reasons we read to learn about times and places other than our own? Don't we want our kids to know that CDs and sanitary pads with sticky backs didn't always exist?
2. It just doesn't make sense. In Superfudge, Peter, his younger brother Fudge, and their friends all go to see the movie Superman. In the theater. Superman was playing in theaters in 1978. Before laptops, MP3 players or CDs existed. If you're going to change the book, why not at least do so consistently?
3. I'm a purist both on principle and as a practical matter. I don't believe in abridged or "children's" versions of books. (If you can't read the real thing, just wait. You'll be able to soon enough. What's the rush? And the watered down version may turn the child off the real thing, or spoil the reader who only wants the easy way out. But I digress.) Similarly, I don't believe in adding in these anachronisms.
So, I beg Ms. Blume, her editor, and her publisher, please reissue the Fudge books and Are you There God? It's Me, Margaret as originally written! By the way, if anyone has any of the original Fudge books and would like to sell them, please let me know!
Can you think of any other children's books which have been similarly "updated"?