The following books are available at Amazon and other online sites. To order directly from the publisher, go to Second Story Press: http://secondstorypress.ca/authors/134-kathleen-mcdonnell
Non-fiction published in 2011 by Second Story Press.
Emily Included is inspired by the true story of Emily Eaton, whose fight to be educated in a regular classroom was a milestone for the rights of people with disabilities in Canada. Emily was born with severe cerebral palsy. At a time when children with CP were segregated, Emily and her family fought for her right to go to school with non-disabled children, a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. Emily’s story makes her an inspirational role model for children everywhere – whether they are living with a disability or not. Emily Included was chosen as an Outstanding Book by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) in 2015, and was a finalist for major Canadian awards, including the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award (Atlantic Canada), the Red Cedar Award (British Columbia) and the Golden Oak Award (Ontario).
What reviewers say about Emily Included:
“This book offers a unique poignancy, captured in photos and an epilogue written by Emily herself, that comes from its real-life implications and that other resources on the topic often lack. It presents issues of equality, access, and parity in a narrative style that is easily accessible to any child who may be experiencing their own uncertainty with inclusion situations at school.” – Booklist
“This book is an enjoyable read as it stands. However in the hands of educators and caregivers, its value for children will be greatly enhanced through discussion of the various thought-provoking topics it engenders.” – Canadian Children’s Book News
“This excellent biography exposes the reader to the world of living with disabilities and to the advantages of inclusive education for all children.” – Canadian Teachers Magazine
1212: Year of the Journey
An acclaimed historical novel for young adults published by Second Story Press in 2006.
The year is 1212, and the religious wars are raging. Muslims, Christians and Jews are all targets of military crusades sponsored by zealous supporters of the Church of Rome. Amid the harsh brutality of the times, an unlikely hope emerges in the form of a young shepherd named Etienne. One night, Etienne has a vision that challenges him to lead children like himself on a different kind of crusade, one founded on peace rather than violence. He joins up with two other young people, Abel and Blanche, both of whom have secrets they dare not reveal. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey, battling starvation, corruption and intolerance as they lead thousands of young people who share the dream of a world where all religions live in peace and harmony.
What reviewers say about 1212: Year of the Journey:
“Kathleen McDonnell vividly brings the 13th-century world of these child crusaders to life, but 1212 is also a novel that feels very contemporary in its exploration of the themes of religious tolerance, empire building, and war and peace… An imaginatively powerful recreation of this unforgettable historical moment.” – Quill and Quire
“Kathleen McDonnell has fashioned a stellar historical fiction. With its focus on peace and racial and religious tolerance, 1212 is a relevant read for everyone regardless of age.” –Books in Canada
“We don’t generally have historical fiction this challenging for teenagers, at least not in the US. Readers interested in religious history and European history will appreciate McDonnell’s fine work.” – Kliatt Journal
“Kathleen McDonnell has written a well-researched historical novel which offers readers the chance to explore the possibility of understanding and peace between world factions that to this day are still at war. Highly Recommended.” – CM Magazine
Honey, We Lost the Kids: Re-thinking Childhood in the Multimedia Age
Published by Second Story Press, Toronto, 2001, revised edition 2005
Remember when children grew up in well-defined stages? Adults tried to keep whole areas of life hidden from them – death, bad language, and, of course, sex – and allowed them to step out into the adult world in an orderly, gradual fashion, according to a schedule determined by grown-ups. So it’s no surprise many parents and experts believe that kids today are growing up too quickly, that a toxic combination of TV and films, video games and the Internet are robbing them of childhood. But much as we might like to, we can’t go back to that time when grown-ups and kids knew their place.
Honey, We Lost the Kids is a report from the front lines of the revolution in modern childhood, a mind-bending, straight-talking approach to understanding the challenges of parenting and childrearing today. Chapter titles and subjects covered include: Madame de Sade’s House of Disclosure, The Walled Garden of Childhood, The Great Parenting Debate, sex, violence, computers and the Internet, and raising kids in the global village.
What reviewers say about Honey, We Lost the Kids:
“What McDonnell brings to the child-rearing debate is the fresh air of perspective, a willingness to challenge easy assumptions, a raised eyebrow for the knee-jerk, and a keen ear for cant.” — Jim Coyle, Toronto Star.
“A new, must-have book both for teachers and parents, relevant and up-to-date on the key pop culture items of today’s teens and tweens… McDonnell gives us valuable background on the history of childhood and a realistic perspective on the adult media material which young people are exposed to.” — Barry Duncan, Assocation for Media Literacy
“Kathleen McDonnell continues her crusade to kick conventional wisdom in the butt with Honey, We Lost the Kids…….an important voice in an intensifying debate.” — Susan Cole, NOW magazine
Kid Culture: Children & Adults & Popular Culture
Published by Second Story Press, Toronto, 1994. Published in Australia by Pluto Press, 2000.
Should I buy my daughter a Barbie? Should parents picket Pokemon? Does the violence and commercialism of popular culture rot kids’ brains? This book argues that popular culture might actually be good for children, and explores the hidden moral universe children construct for themselves out of movies, TV and toys.
Kid Culture has been called “brilliant” by the Toronto Star, while theGlobe and Mail said “Kid Culture blows a very fresh breeze through our uptight assumptions about all the harm pop culture is doing to our kids.
Published by Second Story Press, Toronto, 1990.
A children’s novel about a fat girl who learns to value herself when she performs an act of courage and strength she didn’t know she had. To read about the stage musical adaption, produced in 1995 by Carousel Players, go to my Plays page.
Not an Easy Choice
My first book, Not an Easy Choice: Re-examining Abortion was published by Second Story Press in a new, updated edition in 2003. Not an Easy Choice was originally published in 1984 and has remained in demand ever since.