Local author publishes social justice kids’ book

July 4, 2014
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Local author Althea Smith released her new all-ages book, “Clashes: Lessons In Class,” where she tackles common social issues, earlier this year.

“It started with the premise that children learn very young that there are some people who have and some who do not,” she told the Gazette.

She then followed the train of thought—“what comes with that is an attitude of entitlement, or that other people aren’t deserving, or that you’re better at being a person than they are,” lessons which she did not think children needed to learn.

So she went about writing a book that teaches kids and adults that “it’s not required for us to put them down for us to get up,” she said.

“In this book, I ask, ‘What do we do with out friends or people we meet who have more or less than we do?’” she said.

The book aims to teach a lesson in respect, giving, and encouragement, even when people seem to have more or fewer possessions than they do. It’s a lesson in what to ask for when they feel less important with people who have more than they do, Smith said.

“I don’t have to give up my wealth to show importance. There are other ways of restoring equity in a personal relationship,” she said. “Whether you’re talking about historical or politcal issues, the issue of having or not is a dynamic that can be equalized or shared as opposed to exploited.”

“The  book really introduces [these concepts] in a way that’s clear, then it teaches steps” on how to implement the lesson, she said.

“Clashes” was published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises in April. It is available at tatepublishing.com/bookstore.

“Clashes” by JP-based author Althea Smith. (Courtesy Photo)

“Clashes” by JP-based author Althea Smith. (Courtesy Photo)