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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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A is for Activist is an ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.

The alliteration, rhyming, and vibrant illustrations make the book exciting for children, while the issues it brings up resonate with their parents' values of community, equality, and justice. Innosanto Nagara's engaging little book carries huge messages as it inspires hope for the future, and calls children to action while teaching them a love for books.

Enjoy an author’s reading of the book here.

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“Full of wit, beauty, and fun, we can think of no better way to learn the alphabet.”

“I wish this beautiful and inspiring book was around when my daughter was young, but fortunately there are plenty of cool children around today who will devour what Inno is serving up!”

“Fun, funny, exquisitely illustrated and brilliantly written with a message that is sure to resonate with kids. May a thousand young activists bloom!”

“The alliteration and rhymes have the rhythm and fun of standard ABC books, burrowing into little ears and prompting memorization and spontaneous recitation.””

A is for Activist offers an opportunity for parents to explore their values with their children. At this time in history we need books for children that use words like justice, ally, freedom, and advocate.””

A is for Activist speaks to the possibilities of change, of proactive parenting, of creating community, and of celebrating our collective histories. This book is rad!”

“Innosanto Nagara's ABCs of activism simplifies ideas about environmentalism, feminism, civil rights and democracy for the littlest readers. Bold, bright illustrations and lively rhymes make this a solid read-aloud choice, too. (Oh, and there's a cat hiding on every page, too — can you find it?)”

“This is an amazing book: the safe course would be a simple message of civic engagement, maybe a little dicey flirting with citizenly disobedience. Instead, this rattles through environmental justice, civil rights, LGBT equality, pretty much everything anyone has ever considered worth fighting for. Beautiful illustrations, rogue cats, a message of fire and light.”

“Every letter is the definition of a different social movement. For F — kids learn about Feminism, when we get to G - kids learn about the meaning of grassroots organizing and why it's important. This beautifully illustrated ABC book uses rhyming and alliteration to get your little reader excited about social change.”

“Not your typical alphabet board book, this powerful title presents a letter and a bit of social commentary urging children to take a stand against war and violence, develop an awareness of our environment, and promote acceptance and equality for all cultures, races, religions, genders, and walks of life… An unusual offering that may plant the seeds for and spark discussions about activism.”

“A familiar format is paired with a progressive message in this book. Each letter sparks thought-provoking entries… Young children will enjoy the poetic format and delight in finding the playful black cat hiding on every page. Older children will have questions about everything from black history to McCarthyism, making it a great discussion starter.”

“...sprightly injunctions, sandwiched between bright cardboard covers, are a sampling from A Is for Activist a popular alphabet primer. The Cat in the Hat for a new generation… These and similar offerings seek to captivate a generation still too young and unformed to have acquired a name.””

“No reader is too young to start their journey, and A Is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara proves that… Bright, engaging illustrations sit alongside rhymes that have purpose. For parents who want to raise a socially aware, progressive child from day one, this ABC book is the perfect start.”

blog — December 08

Seven Stories Joins Broad Coalition to Condemn Coordinated Political Attack on Books in Schools

We are proud to join over 400 signatories, including 16 fellow publishers, over 50 bookstores, nearly 80 organizations, and over 250 authors, teachers and librarians, to sign the National Coalition Against Censorship's statement against censorship in schools, and in support of historically marginalized students.

Most of the challenged books address topics previously underrepresented in libraries and school curriculums: books that address racism and other forms of discrimination, and those that include positive multicultural representation. While presented as ways to "depoliticize school" or "protect kids" from so-called challenging topics, these book bans are clearly attempts to further stigmatize LGBTQ students and students of color, and to promote nationalism at the expense of education.

As publisher of several books cited as problematic or inappropriate — such as the gender-inclusive sex education books by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth and social justice-oriented picture books by Innosanto Nagara — we strongly condemn these attempts to censor school libraries.

As the National Coalition Against Censorship's statement (see below) concludes: Freedom of expression ensures that we can meet the challenges of a changing world. That freedom is critical for the students who will lead the world in the years ahead. We must fight to defend it. #BooksNotBans

December 8, 2021 New York, NY-- The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) leads a coalition of over 400 signatories in condemning the coordinated political attack on books in schools playing out across the country. As a staunchly non-partisan organization dedicated to defending students’ right to read for nearly 50 years, NCAC is gravely concerned by the increasing number of school districts allowing the personal viewpoints of some to determine what books all students are allowed to access. 

Policies already exist in most districts to allow individual concerned parents to influence what their own children read. This year, time and again, we have seen those policies ignored and repeatedly violated as books are removed without proper review based on the personal opinions of particular groups of people. We have also seen increasing reports of threats to the livelihood and safety of librarians, teachers, school administrators and school board officials who do not accede to the demands of these would-be censors. No individual or group has the right to impose their beliefs on others. School officials, as government actors, have a First Amendment responsibility to ensure that no particular viewpoint or belief is allowed to dictate what all students can learn and read.

NCAC is joined by over 400 signatories, including nearly 80 organizations, over 50 bookstores and 17 publishers and over 250 individual stakeholders, comprising authors, teachers and librarians.

Full statement and list of signatories available here

A media factsheet is available here

More information on the First Amendment in schools is available here

Guidelines and best practices for book challenge policies are available here

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Children’s book author and illustrator Innosanto Nagara’s books encourage children to grow up with confidence in themselves, and to be proactive citizens who are passionate about causes from environmental issues to LGBTQ rights and civil rights. Born and raised in Indonesia, Inno moved to the US in 1988. After studying zoology and philosophy at UC Davis, Inno moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, working as a graphic designer for a range of social change organizations before founding the Design Action Collective, a worker-owned cooperative design studio. Inno lives in Oakland in a cohousing community with nine adults and eight kids.

Inno’s first book, A is for Activist, started a movement in social justice book publishing for children. After it came Counting on Community, then My Night in the Planetarium and The Wedding Portrait. M is for Movement is the fifth title written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara.

Inno’s books stand in solidarity with people of all ages, races, gender identifications, and backgrounds. They suggest that your family isn’t only yourself and your parents but also the community in which you live, the histories of those around you, and the natural environment on which we depend for our food and water and air. The ideas in Inno’s books may sometimes sound controversial, but they speak to us in a language that is pure common sense and in tune with our natural wishes and inclinations as human beings.