Hello Readers! Welcome to Kid Lit Village where we feature a new children’s book each Monday along with an interview with the author or illustrator of the book. This week we welcome, Lindsey McDivitt and her book A PLAN FOR THE PEOPLE: NELSON MANDELA’S HOPE FOR HIS NATION. The book released March 30th from Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers. The book is illustrated by Charly Palmer.
When Lindsey reached out to me to do the interview I was excited because my father came with his family from South Africa to live in Canada back in 1963. It was because of the turmoil in the country that my father and his family immigrated to Canada so I feel connected to South Africa, even though I have never visited.
Book synopsis:This stirring picture book biography explores Nelson Mandela’s long fight for equality in apartheid-era South Africa as a rallying force against injustice. His courage and determination propelled him through 27 years in prison and decades of struggle. Despite South Africa’s oppression of its non-white citizens, Mandela had hope—hope for a nation that belonged to everyone who lived in it.
Welcome, Lindsey McDivitt and thanks for being a guest on Kid Lit Village. So happy to interview you!
Tell us about the inspiration for your book.
I revisited South Africa (my birthplace) after a gap of 25 years. It was 2013, just weeks after Mandela’s death, and the new democratic South Africa was amazing. A trip out to Robben Island prison woke me up to how little I really knew about my birthplace. (Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison on Robben Island).
It made me realize how incredible it was that Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress planned for a new nation that included white South Africans, their oppressors. The spirit of forgiveness and generosity astounded me. I came away with many questions and read incessantly for about 18 months—books by him and about him, including books for children. I’d never intended to write about Nelson Mandela, but came to feel his story has so much importance still today.
I’m Canadian and feel we have so much to learn from the colonization of South Africa, the conflicts, and Nelson Mandela’s leadership. Working towards a more inclusive society is something that needs to be done in Canada too. Nelson Mandela shows us a way forward.
What part of being a writer do you love most
Definitely the craft part. I have many ideas and certainly all don’t pan out. But when I run with an idea and really get into a groove with the writing, it’s the best. I’ve learned to trust that the act of writing has a magic of its own—with regards to finding the best way to tell the story. I’m never quite sure how it will transform itself.
I think it is so cool to create something new that didn’t exist before. Creativity does have a kind of magic.
Do you have any tips for querying editors and agents?
Attending writing conferences and submitting my manuscripts for critiques by the faculty has been very lucky for me. I recommend researching to find out what the editors and agents publish and enjoy. Also, most editors and agents presenting at conferences will allow submissions directly to them for a limited time after the conference.
What a great tip!
Lindsey, thanks for being a guest and sharing your book with us. I hope that readers will be inspired by Nelson Mandela!
Charly Palmer website https://www.charlypalmer.com/
publisher’s recent interview of Charly Palmerhttps://eerdlings.com/2021/03/31/interview-with-illustrator-charly-palmer/
book trailer video
“A Plan for the People: Nelson Mandela’s Hope for His Nation” (Available for pre-order. Releases March 30, 2021 from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers; ages 7 & up)
Thanks for stopping by Kid Lit Village blog; I hope you’ll be back next week to discover another new book release from the amazing Kid Lit Community!
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