I can’t announce the details quite yet, but I’m delighted to have a new nonfiction adaptation in the works. It will be an illustrated book for kids 8 to 12 years old on a fascinating topic in animal behavior. The original book is wonderful, well researched and entertaining; it will be fun as well as challenging to adapt it for a younger audience.
Category Archives: Writing
We’re number one!
And by “we” I mean historian Howard Zinn, scholar and educator Ed Morales, and, to a much lesser extent, me.
The late Howard Zinn published the indispensable A People’s History of the United States in 1980 and updated it in 2003. A few years after that, with Howard’s encouragement and support, I had the great honor and pleasure of adapting the book for young readers. The Young People’s History of the United States was published in 2007 and has remained in print ever since. It’s deeply gratifying to know how many young people it has introduced to Howard’s important work.
Earlier this month, Seven Stories Press released a new edition of the Young People’s History. The text was updated to reflect the language we now use when talking about various groups within the American population. Ed Morales contributed two new sections that greatly expand coverage of the histories and roles of Latino immigrants and their descendants in the United States. Finally, I added new material on Asian American activism and on today’s young activists and their causes.
Helping to make Zinn’s work accessible to young readers has been an extraordinary privilege. I’m delighted to see this new edition of the Young People’s History already making a mark. I’m even more excited to report that a Spanish-language version of it will be published later this year.
I’m in Paris!
Not really, more’s the pity, but the French publisher of How to Change Everything has put these posters in the Paris Metro stations. How to Change Everything is the book for young people that I wrote with Naomi Klein, about fighting against climate disaster and for social justice. Proud to see it in the Metro!
New book launches today
When my agent approached me about the possibility of adapting Naomi Klein’s writings on climate change and social justice into a book for young readers, I was over the moon. A dream project indeed! Adapting the work of a journalist and writer whom I admire immensely, who deals with subjects about which I care passionately, focusing on kids as activists. Today I’m even further over the moon, possibly halfway to Mars, because the book has been launched out into the world.
Working on this project was a treat from start to finish. Everyone involved was thoughtful, creative, and supportive all the way. But the number-one takeaway from the year I spent on this book is my new awareness of how determined, ingenious, and clear-sighted young activists are. All of the young people whose activism and passion are highlighted in the book insist that the future–everyone’s future–is worth fighting. This was for me a sustaining force during the year of the coronavirus pandemic, and it inspires me to hope that we can transform how we live and produce energy.
Will young activists really change everything? I don’t know–but I know they’ll give their all to the effort. I hope that with this book, we’ve handed them some useful tools. I can’t wait to see what they do.
New nonfiction: Civil Rights and Climate Justice
My YA adaptation of Bruce Watson’s riveting book Freedom Summer came out this month, published by Seven Stories Press. It was a tremendous honor to be chosen to adapt this powerful story for young readers. I’m especially happy that the book includes the voices of many of the young people who went to Mississippi for that murderous, momentous summer and of the Black activists who taught, fought, died, and inspired.
In February 2021 Simon & Schuster will publish How to Change Everything, in which I adapted the climate and social justice writings of Naomi Klein into a volume for young people. Drawing on her experiences in settings as diverse as the Great Barrier Reef and the pipeline protest at Standing Rock, as well as on her years of reporting on topics such as disaster capitalism and climate change, How to Change Everything highlights the important work of young activists around the world and offers inspiration and tools for others–young or old–who want to change the world for the better.