Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, With 21 Activities
By Corinne Hosfeld Smith
Published by Chicago Review Press
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
Chicago Review Press,
Indiebound (independent bookstores),
Thoreau Society Shop at Walden Pond,
Barnes and Noble.
(Booksellers can order the book
Take a peek at some of the
photographs in the book -- and more! -- as rendered by
Newburyport photographer Rob DePaolo,
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.
Review of Henry David Thoreau for Kids," by Colleen
Ruggieri, Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 295, Fall 2016, p.
"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.
David Thoreau for Kids' uses activities to connect kids with nature," by
Tom Montgomery Fate, Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2016.
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
Answer video questions here.
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