Meghan Markle never seems to get a break. After her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which she was heavily criticized by conservative commentators, Markle has announced that she is releasing a children’s book entitled The Bench. However, accusations have come up claiming that Markle may have plagiarized the book by taking content from another children’s book with a similar name – however, the Duchess of Sussex ensures her fans that her book was unique and based upon Prince Harry’s experience with baby Archie.
“Before you run out and waste money on the book by Harry’s wife, read ‘The Boy on the Bench’ by Corrinne Averiss and Gabriel Alborozo … The original,” one Twitter user wrote of the apparent likeness.
Critics noticed the similarities between Markle’s new book and the 2018 UK release. The first book by Averiss includes similar themes to Markle’s children’s book, and the illustrations are also a little bit too similar for some Twitter users.
Although Markle said that her book “started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born,” others feel that the book is a bit too close to the original. Some people felt that this reason for starting the book was far too close to what Averiss said when she came out with her book in 2018.
The Duchess added, “That poem became this story. Christian (Robinson, illustrator) layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolor illustrations that capture the warmth, joy, and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life; this representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens. My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”
Random House described Markle’s book as “a window into shared and enduring moments between a diverse group of fathers and sons — moments of peace and reflection, trust and belief, discovery and learning, and lasting comfort.”
One person went so far as to accuse Markle’s book of being “blatantly plagiarized” and called for Markle’s book to be “boycotted” by those who are offended and outraged.
“I’ll wager a bet that Corrinne’s book is in Archie’s collection. That’s where her idea came from. I don’t believe that this is all her own thinking or reflects her idyllic life whatsoever,” online critic Emma Kaye Wootton wrote.
However, the original author, Averiss herself, turned to Twitter to dispel the rumors and assure her fans that the Duchess did not steal her book idea when creating The Bench.
“Reading the description and a published excerpt of the Duchess’s new book, this is not the same story or the same theme as The Boy on the Bench. I don’t see any similarities,” Averiss wrote.
Still, Random House stands with Markle.
“Meghan’s touching text explores the relationship between fathers and sons and undeniably tugs at the heartstrings that parents and caregivers feel,” says Mallory Loehr, EVP & Publisher, Random House Books for Young Readers Group. “Christian’s art beautifully matches the tender emotion of Meghan’s words, and every spread is infused with a vibrant sense of joy and love. The Bench is timeless—it feels destined to become one of those books that people will be reading for generations to come.”
What do you think about Meghan Markle’s new children’s book?
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