Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Output-f_feature

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. This 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.

Output-f_feature

Buying options

“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!”

blog — April 27

Three Cheers: Innosanto Nagara

Three Cheers is a recurring feature on the Seven Stories Blog, in which authors dish on three books or authors that helped to mold them over the course of their lives. Today we're featuring Innosanto Nagara, author of A is for Activist and many more, all available from Seven Stories.

by Innosanto Nagara

There are of course many many more, and it’s terrible to have to just pick three. But since three is what you ask for, here are my three cheers:

First cheer goes to the Indonesian dissident poet/playwright Ikranagara, who also happens to be my father. First cheer to him because, consciously or unconsciously, my understanding of what writing is, who can write, and why one would write, was first shaped by him. Growing up in a house where my parents and their friends discussed writing and philosophy, and seeing the impact they were having in the country, makes my father my most formative author influence. 

Second cheer goes to Khalil Gibran, introduced to me by my mother when I was a child. His “On Children” in The Prophet, is a guiding philosophy for how I approach writing for children. That core idea, that ‘your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself” and that ultimately they will “live in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams,” is why I think it’s important to have the conversations I hope to spark with my books.

Third cheer is difficult. I want to credit writers like Keri Hulme (The Bone People) or Jerzy Kosinski (The Painted Bird), whose approaches to writing and style have been a great influence. Or maybe I should make sure everyone knows Ayu Utami, whose book Saman was the first of its kind for an Indonesian writer and blew my mind when I read it in 1998 right before the fall of Suharto. Saman undoubtedly contributed to the fall of Suharto. But since this is a space where I’m wearing my children’s book author hat, and I only have one cheer left, I’m going to make a shout out to Shel Silverstein. Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book is not his most famous children’s book, but it was one of his favorites, and mine. His respect for children’s ability to appreciate complexity and context, in 1961, is always a reminder to me.

Output-f_feature

INNOSANTO NAGARA's new-wave board 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. Nagara was born and raised in Indonesia, and moved to the US in 1988. After studying zoology and philosophy at UC Davis, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he worked as a graphic designer for a range of social change organizations, before founding the Design Action Collective, a worker-owned cooperative design studio in Oakland, California.