The First Pride Was A Riot
March with Marsha is the picture book story of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera leading the Stonewall Riots. This children’s book uses simple language to introduce complex concepts of justice, queer liberation, and civil disobedience. Readers of all ages will be captivated by vibrant illustrations and dramatic text that highlights Marsha and Sylvia’s bravery and activism.
Meet the Author/Illustrator
Katie Hall is an award-winning author and former children's book editor. Katie is excited to use their passion and experience to introduce children to often-overlooked heroes who have lead the way in the fight for equal rights. Some of their previous works include Polar Bears and Penguins: A Compare and Contrast Book (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book and ILA Children's and Young Adult Award for Primary Nonfiction), Amphibians and Reptiles, and Mammals. Katie lives in South Carolina with their family of humans, dogs, and cats.
As a child, Veronica V. Jones enjoyed reading comic books with her dad, leading to a lifelong love of reading stories and creating art. After graduating from college, she pursued a career as an illustrator. Veronica first worked in the tabletop games industry and then started drawing for children in 2010. Since then, she has worked on covers and interiors for middle grade novels as well as picture books for younger children. When not drawing and painting, Veronica keeps very busy with her two kids, taking them to lessons and practices. She is a proud leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout troop.
"In my time working with children and reading children's literature, I've yet to read a book like March with Marsha. Highlighting a moment in history that is often left out of textbooks, the Stonewall Riot, this book focuses on Marsha Johnson and Sylvia Rivera and their fight for freedom. This book is approachable for even very young readers, and simplifies a major event without losing the emotion or context in history." --Sarah Carton-Wirth
How this book was born
Several years ago, I got into a conversation with some folks about LGBT children's books and how glad we were that this was an expanding genre. I am bisexual, so of course I asked about picture books that talked about bisexuality. We all came up blank. There were YA books and some early readers... but no picture books.
So I decided to write one. I decided that I would write a children's book about Sylvia Rivera: a bisexual trans woman of color and sex worker who led the Stonewall Riots and stood up for LGBT rights. But as I planned my story, the idea became less about wanting to introduce a bisexual character and more about teaching this pivotal moment in queer history in a way kids could grasp.
As I researched the Stonewall Riots, I realized I couldn't do a book about Sylvia and Stonewall without including Marsha P. Johnson as well. And so "March with Marsha" was born (Sorry, Sylvia, but Marsha had the alliteration with March that sounded good for the title).
I knew that this project needed a great illustrator. I can write, but I can't draw to save my life. So I approached Veronica V. Jones, an amazing illustrator who has worked on picture books, tabletop games, and middle grade covers/interior art. Veronica was as excited about the project as I was, and we got started in earnest.
-Katie Hall, author
Where are we now?
The text for this story is complete, and the illustrations are in the works. Veronica has done character sketches of Marsha and Sylvia, and completed the cover art to use for our kickstarter campaign. Once we know the project is funded, then Veronica can proceed to sketch the interior of the book and complete the final artwork.
We plan to deliver finished books in early December, so people can read March with Marsha with friends and family over the holidays, or give copies away as gifts.
Our Kickstarter Goal is $7000. This includes:
- $4000 - text, illustration, and graphic design
- $1500 - publishing and production
- $1000 - distribution
- $500 - KS fees and distribution costs
- $10,000 - all books will be printed as hardcover instead of paperback
- $25,000 - we will produce a second book, featuring another activist who has never before had their story told as a picture book. Backers who donate $50 or more will vote on a shortlist (created by Katie and Veronica) to decide who the subject of our next book will be!
- $50,000 - March with Marsha will be the first in a set of four books, and all donors will have a chance to vote on the subjects for the third and fourth book.
Risks and challenges
Our goal is to have the finished book ready to deliver by early December - just in time to give to or read with family and friends over the holidays! That (admittedly self-imposed) timeline is the biggest challenge.
But Katie's editorial experience and Veronica's illustration experience means that we are very confident in our ability to bring this project together and deliver finished books in time for the holidays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)