Coming next year–a new version of Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species, adapted for kids and young readers.
It’s been called the most important book ever written in biological science. For more than a century and a half it has shaped our understanding of the world of living things and our place in it. The principles Darwin set out in the Origin–his theory of evolution–underlie countless features of modern life, from the development of new life-saving medicines to the fight to save species on the verge of extinction.
I have written about Darwin and his work for young people before, but this time I will be letting Darwin tell his own story . . . and I could not be more thrilled to be doing it. Stay tuned!
I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen to write young people’s versions of books by some scientists and historians I admire very much. One of them is Jared Diamond, a scientist–and a very entertaining writer–who may be most famous to the general public for his hugely bestselling book Guns, Germs, and Steel.
Professor Diamond’s first book, The Third Chimpanzee, is a wide-ranging look at how we became human. It touches on subjects as diverse as cave art and bungee jumping, and it examines key questions such as:
What makes humans different from animals?
How and why did those differences come to be?
And maybe most important: Will the very qualities that allowed us to conquer our planet destroy us?
Working with Professor Diamond, I wrote an updated version of The Third Chimpanzee that is aimed at readers from age 10 right through high school. I hope it will fascinate and surprise them–and give them new ways to look at themselves and human history–just as it did me.
One of the most exciting projects of my writing career was A Young People’s History of the United States. It was a chance to bring the work of a great scholar to a new audience of young readers.
Famed historian Howard Zinn published A People’s History of the United States in 1980, then updated it over the years. He focused on the “ordinary people” who are often left out of official history books–including young people who helped shape history. Zinn was especially interested in people and ideas that challenged the forces of oppressive government and big business. His probing look at American history, with its emphasis on stories that are often neglected, became a bestseller. I’m honored to have been chosen to adapt the 2003 edition of this important work into an American history for younger readers.
Stephen King may be the most famous modern writer in the world–and he’s written more books than most of the others. I love good horror fiction, so it was a blast to research and write this 2011 biography for teens–and a true pleasure to receive this glowing starred review from Booklist. The book not only covers King’s life and career but also offers critical interpretations of the King stories and books most often found on school reading lists.