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Innosanto Nagara, Wee the People, Frugal Bookstore: A Is for Awesome

Photo: Mary Pat White

Yesterday afternoon, Oakland-based author/illustrator Innosanto Nagara, best known for his board book A Is for Activist, held an awesome after-school event at the Frugal Bookstore (Friends of the Horn Book) in Roxbury, MA. Called “R Is for Rulebreakers! Celebrate Protest with Innosanto Nagara,” the event was hosted by Wee the People, “an arts-based series of programming and events for kids exploring social justice and the power of protest.”

Nagara was there discussing his new book The Wedding Portrait, an autobiographical picture book about his own wedding and about specific acts of civil disobedience throughout history. The book’s title refers to a newspaper photo of the just-married author and his wife — still in wedding attire — kissing at a nuclear arms protest in the 1990s before being arrested.

Nagara read the story aloud and took some great questions from the audience: Why did he focus on the specific acts of civil disobedience and direct action mentioned in the book? (because many of them had personal connections or were especially important for people to know about) What should kids do when they see injustice? (they can find their own voice in their own way — say something, write something, draw something) Wee the People then led the group in some activities to demonstrate the power of keeping quiet (i.e., silent protest) and raising your voice (“No justice, no peace!”).

This is Nagara’s debut East Coast tour, and he’ll be in D.C. and Brooklyn later this week. Go if you can (but vote first!). Also keep your eyes on Wee the People — their child-friendly events are great for activist kids — and support the Frugal Bookstore: “We are a community bookstore located in Roxbury with a passion of promoting literacy within our children, teens and adults…We love books! Real, hold-in-your-hand, feel-the-paper, turn-the-page-while-sitting-in-the-tub books. We want you to love books as much as we do and we’re committed to doing whatever we can to make that happen.” How can you not?!

For more on social justice and activism, visit The Horn Book‘s “Making a Difference” page.


Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.



  1. Thank you, Elissa, for writing up an event for those of us who were unable to attend. I love, too, that the Horn Book supports local grassroots activism and small, independent local bookstores that are the heartbeat to the community. What a great new book! So happy it debuted here and Wee the People led the way. Woohoo!

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