I’m terrifically proud and excited that my Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: Young Readers Version: Young Readers Edition is a finalist in the Children’s Literature category of the 2020 Oregon Book Awards.
Sponsored by Literary Arts–a hard-working and effective organization that promotes our state’s writers, develops writing programs in schools, and brings thought-provoking and important writers from all over to speak in Oregon–these awards are given annually in seven categories. The litany of finalists and winners is a glorious one. I am thrilled to be in their number.
The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the end of April. No matter what happens, it truly has been an honor to be nominated. My adaptation of the Origin is my favorite among all the books I’ve written, and it is a delight to see it recognized in such excellent company as my fellow finalists.
I’m very proud to say that the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has included Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: Young Readers Edition on its list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 for 2019. Science teachers are heroes, and it is an honor to have them recognize by my adaptation of this world-changing book.
Just half a year from now, Simon & Schuster will publish my young readers edition of the most important scientific book ever written.
I was twenty-three, an earnest grad student in English, when I first read Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. In the years that followed, as my nonfiction writing career took me deeper into writing science books for kids, I reread the Origin several times, alongside many more recent works on natural history and evolutionary biology. So once I’d published YA adaptations of books by Howard Zinn, Jared Diamond, and others, it was perhaps inevitable that I’d think, “What about Darwin?” And here we are.
A reviewer once called me “the redoubtable Stefoff.” I hope it was redoubtable, not rash, of me to interpret Darwin’s thoughts and words for today’s young readers. (Bonus: Not just for kids. It’s for anyone who’d like to read a shortened, streamlined, illustrated version of the Origin.)