Saturday, September 22, 4PM
With Not My Idea, Anastasia addresses a difficult topic directly and compassionately, providing white families and children with a jumping-off point for much-needed discussion.
Anastasia Higginbotham is the author and illustrator of Divorce Is the Worst, Death Is Stupid, and Tell Me About Sex, Grandma—all part of the Ordinary Terrible Things series. She lives in Brooklyn.
“Racism was not your idea. You don’t need to defend it.”
A white child sees a TV news report of a white police officer shooting and killing a black man. “In our family, we don’t see color,” his mother says, but he sees the colors plain enough. An afternoon in the library’s history stacks uncover the truth of white supremacy in America. Racism was not his idea and he refuses to defend it.
"A much-needed title that provides a strong foundation for critical discussions of white people and racism, particularly for young audiences. Recommended for all collections.
–Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal, starred review
"A necessary children's book about whiteness, white supremacy, and resistance. Important, accessible, needed." —Kirkus
"Anastasia Higginbotham knows something that far too many of us have forgotten: Children are smart. Children are observant. Children understand fairness and justice. and they have an immense capacity for engaging with the "difficult" topics that we grown-ups too often try to avoid. I am in love with Not My Idea, and with Higginbotham's direct, radical, compassionate approach to talking about whiteness, racism, and the need to tell painful but important truths. As a white parent working to raise conscious, loving, anti-racist humans, I cannot wait to share it with my kids."
—Kate Schatz, NYT-bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z, Rad Women Worldwide, and Rad Girls Can
Patiently forthcoming with lessons your parents redacted, this necessary conversation stresses consent, sex positivity, and the right to be curious about your body. The dialogue focuses on the dynamics of sex, rather than the mechanics, as Grandma reminds readers that sex is not marriage or reproduction, and doesn’t look the same for everyone. Instead, each person’s sexuality is their very own to discover, explore, and share if they choose.
"Remarkable. . . . If I were independently wealthy, I’d buy a small plane, fly across the country, and drop off copies of this book to every elementary-school health and sex educator out there." —Julie Danielson, Kirkus
"A refreshing, positive response to a child’s questions about sex. . . . Above all, the author emphasizes that people have the right to make their own choices about sex, now and always." —School Library Journal
"She's in a better place now," adults say again and again. But mortality doesn't seem better, it seems stupid. This forthright exploration of grief and mourning recognizes the anger, confusion, and fear that we feel about death. Necessary, beautiful, and ultimately reassuring, Death Is Stupid is an invaluable tool for discussing death, but also the possibilities for celebrating life and love.
"A perfect antidote to all those gentle and fanciful introductions to the toughest and least whimsical of topics . . . If your child craves directness . . . [then] this smart, sensitive book is just the thing." —Chicago Tribune
"Wow, and thank God for this book. What an incredible gift this book will be for countless children. Having it fifty-plus years ago would have been a kind of salvation for me and would have helped me grow into a healthier and infinitely less frightened person." —Anne Lamott, author of Grace (Eventually)
"It's [an] exact mix of true-to-life humor and unflinching honesty that makes Higginbotham’s book work so well, and many of the plainspoken sentiments she includes, as well as several included ideas for how to remember and honor those who have departed, may be eye-opening for readers facing grief themselves." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Kids are told, "it's for the best"—and one day, it may be. But right now, divorce is the worst. With honesty and humor, Anastasia Higginbotham beautifully conveys the challenge of staying whole when your entire world, and the people in it, split apart. Exceptional in its child-centered portrayal, Divorce Is the Worst is an invaluable tool for families, therapeutic professionals, and divorce mediators struggling to address this common and complex experience.
Divorce Is the Worst is the first book in a series of feminist children's books, Ordinary Terrible Things, which deals with common childhood crises and how children themselves find their own way to cope and grow.
"The illustrations deliver a substantial emotional impact . . . But it’s Higginbotham’s directness and refusal to talk down to her audience that will make this book such an asset to families negotiating divorce." —Publishers Weekly