We’re number one!

And by “we” I mean historian Howard Zinn, scholar and educator Ed Morales, and, to a much lesser extent, me. At the time I wrote this post, our book has been in the #1 spot in several Amazon categories since it was published on January 3.

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, but this terrific poster advertising How to Change Everything is in the stations of the Paris Metro, or subway. How to Change Everything is the book for kids that I wrote with Naomi Klein, about fighting against climate change and for social justice. Proud to see it on the walls of the Metro!

How to Change Everything

Today How to Change Everything, a book for young people that I adapted from writings on climate change and social justice by journalist Naomi Klein, goes out into the world. It was a great honor to work on this book with someone whose fearless and honest journalism I have always admired.

Many of us are worried about the future of our planet, or about the unfairness of the fact that a small share of the world’s people are consuming a large share of its resources–and contributing the most to climate change while doing so. This book outlines the problems all of us face, as well as the solutions we can use to solve them. It profiles kids who have become climate and justice activists in all parts of the world.

Afraid that big changes just aren’t possible? How to Change Everything shows how whole nations have made huge changes to their economies almost overnight, when they’ve had to. And what we’ve done before, we can accomplish again. Are you ready to change everything to build a better, safer, more sustainable future, not just for humans but for all life on this planet? I hope this book will give you some ideas about how to do it.

Freedom Summer is out

Have you ever heard of Freedom Summer? Maybe your history book says something about how, in 1964, dozens of young people went south to Mississippi to help Black citizens register to vote. That summer brought a wealth of new experiences for both the young people–mostly white college kids–and the Mississippians they met and lived with. Some experiences were terrifying. Violence stalked the state, and multiple murders took place. But others were inspiring. The heroism, courage, and dignity of people who simply wanted to exercise their right to vote still inspires us today.


Journalist Bruce Watson wrote Freedom Summer to tell the story of this important chapter in the Civil Rights movement. His book reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvers of everyone from a racist local sheriff to the President of the United States when confronted by people who demanded their rights . . . and didn’t back down. It also tells the stories of some of the young volunteers, describing that season of hope and fear in their own words. I am proud to have been chosen to adapt Freedom Summer into this version for young readers, published this month by Seven Stories Press.

Oregon Book Awards Finalist!

My young readers’ adaptation of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is my favorite among all the books I’ve written. (It wasn’t an easy choice, though.) That’s why I’m so happy to report that it has been chosen as one of five finalists in the Children’s Literature category for the 2020 Oregon Book Awards.

These awards are given every year in seven categories to writers who live in Oregon. The list of past finalists and winners includes many, many gifted writers and extraordinary books. I am honored to be among them.

The 2020 winners in each category will be announced in a ceremony at the end of April. No matter which book wins, we can be sure of one thing: it will be a great book!

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