Corinne Hosfeld Smith

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Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, With 21 Activities

By Corinne Hosfeld Smith

Published by Chicago Review Press
ISBN 9781613731468
118-page paperback   $16.95

American author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau is best known for living two years along the shores of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, and writing about his experiences in Walden; or, Life in the Woods, as well as spending a night in jail for nonpayment of taxes, which he discussed in the influential essay "Civil Disobedience." More than 150 years later, people are still inspired by his thoughtful words about individual rights, social justice, and nature. His detailed plant observations have even proven to be a useful record for 21st-century botanists. Henry David Thoreau for Kids chronicles the short but influential life of this remarkable American thinker. In addition to learning about Thoreau's contributions to our culture, readers will participate in engaging, hands-on projects that bring his ideas to life. Activities include building a model of the Walden cabin, keeping a daily journal, planting a garden, baking trail-bread cakes, going on a half-day hike, and starting a rock collection. The book also includes a time line and list of resources -- books, websites, and places to visit that offer even more opportunities to connect with this fascinating man.

Order the book through any of these sites: Chicago Review Press, Indiebound (independent bookstores), Amazon, Books-a-Million, Thoreau Society Shop at Walden Pond, and Barnes and Noble.

(Booksellers can order the book through IPG.)

Take a peek at some of the photographs in the book -- and more! --  as rendered by Newburyport photographer Rob DePaolo, here.


Advanced praise from Kirkus Reviews: "A portrait of Thoreau as a seminal American philosopher and naturalist, with nearly two dozen projects that will have young readers marching to his beat. Though Smith doesn't suggest that students get arrested and thrown in jail like Thoreau, she does offer other activities that reflect his significant insights and achievements—from keeping a daily journal and gardening to closely examining a simple spoonful of sand or checking out the world from a fresh angle by climbing to a high place. ... Utilitarian of format but well organized and with plenty of grist for both minds and hands."

Advanced praise from Booklist: "All of the activities encourage kids to unplug and disconnect from the buzz of modern life and express a fundamental belief that no one is too young to begin to appreciate the ideals of Thoreau."

Read the author interview posted on the Chicago Review Press blog.

Recent press:

"A Review of Henry David Thoreau for Kids," by Colleen Ruggieri, Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 295, Fall 2016, p. 7.

"Talking with Corinne Hosfeld Smith, author of Henry David Thoreau for Kids," by Susan Bailey, with an accompanying review, on the blog Louisa May Alcott Is My Passion.

"'Henry David Thoreau for Kids' uses activities to connect kids with nature," by Tom Montgomery Fate, Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2016.

"Local author tells kids to 'go for a walk' and  take a lesson from Henry David Thoreau," by Tom Knapp, LNP [Lancaster Newspapers], March 6, 2016.

Watch supplemental videos here.

Answer video questions here. (to come)


Fun stuff: In December 2016, Henry David Thoreau for Kids was chosen for inclusion in the Concord Museum's exhibit, "Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's Literature." Decorator Eileen Furth created a wreath for the nearby Walden house replica, in the spirit of the book. Corinne Smith and photographer Rob DePaolo participated in Author-Illustrator day. The wreath includes pencils, a little journal, birds, seashells, and berries.




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