Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.

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We Are Water Protectors is a celebration and defense of both a precious natural resource and Indigenous identity.

1. Carole, what do you hope your book might accomplish?

I hope it will inspire the next generation to fight for clean water and for our earth, and to make readers aware that Indigenous peoples are still here. We have always been here, and we shall remain fighting for our planet.

2. Michaela, what is the greatest challenge in illustrating water?

I want water to convey energy and magic. As Carole says in the book, “Water has its own spirit.” Watercolor leaves room for both control and happy accidents. You have to plan ahead but also adapt as you go, letting the paints (and the water!) guide you.

3. Carole, what is the best source for young people wanting to know more about the Water Protectors?

I suggest, started by Honor the Earth.

4. Michaela, how is water protection being done in your state of Alaska?

Alaska, home to incredibly diverse regions and over two hundred Alaska Native tribes, is faced with many concerns. Smaller organizations such as the Herring Rock Water Protectors work to defend the herring population from commercial overharvest. On a larger scale, the United Tribes of Bristol Bay joined forces with other Native Nations and leaders in a proclamation demanding protection of Bristol Bay salmon and Native sovereignty.

5. Carole, how do you maintain hope about the future of the Earth?

Hope and actively trying to make change have always kept me and my people going. I’m just doing what my ancestors have done. Every day I hope one more person “gets” how important it is to protect our planet and all living things. I see the change in our young people. They get it!

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Photos: Left: Carole Lindstrom. Right: Sydney Akagi.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978.

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