Posts tagged: New books

Studying Darwin and Darwin’s Study

 

Study at Down House

 

I’m working on a young people’s version of Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species. I feel a great sense of responsibility. The Origin introduced the world to Darwin’s insights about how species of plants and animals evolve and change over time, giving rise to new species. Since Darwin’s time, scientists have learned much, much more about evolution, species, and biology in general. Still, the Origin is one of the most important and influential books ever written. I am striving to offer the best possible adaptation of it to readers both young and old.

I’m also thinking about treating myself to something special when the book is finished. I’d love to visit Down House, the home in England where Darwin lived with his family for forty years. Although Darwin had begun to develop his ideas about evolution before he moved to Down House, it was in this study that he wrote the Origin and his later works. I’d love to enter this room and try for a moment to see the world as he saw it.

New Project: A Jared Diamond Book

I’m happy to announce that I’ve been chosen to turn bestselling writer Jared Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzee into a book for young people.

Diamond is the author of Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997), a book that explores the relationships among geography, biology, and history, and also of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), a book about why some societies are successful and long-lasting while others fall apart and disappear. The book I’m adapting for young readers, The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, explores the many things that make humans unique–as well as their connections to the rest of the animal world. It’s a  subject that I think kids will find fascinating.

I’ve just gotten started on the writing, and already I’m enjoying it tremendously. I look forward to the time when the book will be finished and ready for readers.

Launch party in New York

This weekend I’ll be traveling to New York–barring a hurricane-caused disruption–for the launch of Triangle Square Books, a new children’s and YA nonfiction imprint from Seven Stories Press.

Seven Stories is the publisher of my YA adaptation of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States, as well as my new YA adaptation of Ronald Takaki’s history of multicultural America, A Different Mirror. Seven Stories has long been committed to publishing progressive books on politics, history, and social and environmental justice. I believe Triangle Square will fill an important need, and I can’t wait to see what books they will be offering to young readers.

New Book Is Out

There’s nothing like the feeling of holding your new book in your hands for the first time. All the hours you spent working on it, not to mention all the work by everyone else who helped make the book a reality, are well worth it.

I got that feeling yesterday when I opened a package from our country’s ethnic and racial history. My part was to make Professor Takaki’s scholarly book shorter and easier to read, so that children and teenagers could benefit from his insights into the challenges, struggles, and also triumphs of the people and groups who came together–not always peacefully–to make up the American population.

Professor Takaki was not only a famous scholar–he was also a friend. I’m proud to have helped make his work available to young people, and I know it would make him tremendously happy to see this book. Now it’s up to the readers!

Revealed: Animal Behavior Revealed Book Covers!

I love the covers for my latest series of nonfiction books for kids: Animal Behavior Revealed.

These four books were both fascinating and tons of fun to write. I hope readers will share both the fascination and the fun. It’s amazing how much scientists are learning every day about how and why animals do the things they do.

Animal Behavior Revealed is due to be published in Fall 2012. Look for it online, in bookstores, and at your school or public library.

 

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