Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage activist who has mobilized a global environmental movement more than a million strong, will star in We Are All Greta: Be Inspired to Save the World, a translation of an illustrated YA book, on Laurence King Publishing’s fall list.
After the book’s solid debut in Italy this spring, the U.K.-based Laurence King (distributed by Chronicle Books in the U.S.) acquired worldwide English rights to the nonfiction title written by journalist Valentina Giannella and illustrated by Manuela Marazzi. The Italian publisher Centauria released the Italian original in April as Il mio nome è Greta—selling out a 10,000-copy first printing in less than two months.
“With the book, kids can feel empowered rather than helpless,” Laurence King deputy publisher Marc Valli says of the title, which mixes Thunberg’s inspiring biography with actionable advice about coping with the climate change crisis. “The book changes their perspective,” he says. “They feel like they can make a difference, like they can have a voice.”
The book is scheduled for U.S. release in mid-October, but Valli hopes to publish closer to September 20, the next scheduled “Global Climate Strike,” an international student walk-out allied with Thunberg’s movement. “There’s this wonderful momentum around student climate activists like Greta Thunberg,” said Anastasia Scott, senior publicist at Laurence King. “We wanted to make this resource available as soon as possible to inspire kids and adults to take action.”
Upset by her government’s slow response to global warming and climate change, the then-15-year-old Thunberg mounted a three-week school strike in August 2018—protesting outside the Swedish parliament instead of going to school. This dramatic demonstration quickly spread on social media, giving voice to a generation of children who are frustrated by adults’ slow response to climate change.
Thunberg expanded upon her original protest in September 2018 with the “Fridays for Future” movement, carrying on her strike each Friday until the government in Sweden enacts legislation that can help reduce the temperature rise of global warming. Her movement has since spread to more than 1,800 cities in 130 countries, with the social media hashtags #FridaysForFuture and #ClimateStrike. The young activist has earned international acclaim for her climate change activism, including the Golden Camera award in Germany, along with nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize and a Prix Liberté (Freedom Prize).
Thunberg learned about climate change when she was eight years old, and grew intensely unhappy with the lack of urgency around this existential threat. After a period of depression and illness, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and selective mutism. “I only speak when I think it's necessary and now is one of those moments,” she said in a TEDxStockholm presentation about her climate change activism that has earned more than 2.5 million views online.
“What we do or don't do right now will affect my entire life and the lives of my children and grandchildren,” she told the audience, urging adults to take meaningful action to avert the worst-case scenarios for climate change. “What we do or don’t do right now, me and my generation cannot undo in the future.” This may be the first book about Thunberg, but with the youth mobilization for the upcoming Global Climate Strike in September, it almost certainly won’t be the last.