Splendor in the Skunk Cabbage
This is a book that I wrote for young adults. It's coming out in November. You can be the first one to write a review about it! Okay, so how does a collection of gross facts for preteen/tweens connect to sustainable living, natural childhood and community revival? (Because, you know, in the author bio on the back cover of the book it says that's what I like writing about.)
Okay well...let me give it a shot. Kids love gross stuff (in my day it was Garbage Pail Kids with their exploding heads and peeling skin and now it's people on TV eating cockroaches for money or The Wimpy Kid stashing a deviled egg in a neighbor's plant). And the natural world is absolutely crawling with vile stuff, from banana slugs to corpse flowers to fossilized dinosaur vomit. So, if kids claim to be bored by the outdoors and roll their eyes at the mention of a day in the local park, maybe you can get them interested in joining The Bug Club, or hunting for wolf spiders, or pressing leaves of skunk cabbage into a nature journal.
I'm happy because this is the first book I've written for kids. Or I should say I'm happy not because it's the first, but because I finally got to publish one as a person rather than a ghost. I wrote a bunch of picture books for kids but my name was not attached and I can't identify them, so it feels like it never happened. Which is weird. Why would it feel that way? Part of an invisible life.
I'm also happy that I got to give a shout-out in the book to my 5th grade teacher Mr. McInerney who led us bravely through the natural world in all its gruesome splendor.