Manzanita Books will engage young people with West Coast and California history, highlighting under-represented stories through colorfully-illustrated texts. Centering #ownvoices, Manzanita’s books will honestly face our complicated history. Different groups of people have been, and continue to be, a part of this land — like the native manzanita plant — the seeds, shoots, roots, and flowers. Manzanita Books will explore this history, centering indigenous, Black, Latinx, Asian American, LGBQT+, and disabled people’s stories, but also looking frankly at the place of Whiteness in the state’s establishment.
When we walk on ground knowing what happened in the past, we have a personal connection to that place, those people, and their stories. They become OUR stories. It is time to look more honestly and openly at this history, so that we can organize collectively to build towards a better future.
Books will be written by people whose lived experience connects to the story. If authors aren’t children’s writers, books can be co-written by Laura Atkins as took place with the Fighting for Justice series. The goal is to publish first books in August 2020.