Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be took home the national Lane Anderson Award as the best Canadian science book for young readers at an award dinner in Toronto last night. The win was reported today by the National Post, the Vancouver Sun, Quill & Quire, the Canadian Children’s Book Center and other media. It was published by Canadian publisher Kids Can Press. But it’s not for lack of trying that a Canadian publisher rather than American publisher issued this book.
According to author Daniel Loxton, US publishers wouldn’t touch it.
“It’s important to realize that most of the publishing professionals I dealt with in the US were lovely and encouraging. They all said “no,” but some recommended smaller, artier presses they felt might consider Evolution…. [S]ome of America’s top children’s publishing professionals rejected Evolution, some citing concerns that it was too controversial, too much of “a tough sell,” or (“in today’s climate”) too likely to find needed distribution channels closed…. It was certainly frustrating to knock on cold doors, but I am sympathetic to publishers. [I]t’s a tough time for book producers, and they need to work hard to mitigate risk. Publishers face the on the ground reality that almost half of American adults–many of them reviewers, librarians, booksellers, or teachers–believe that evolution did not happen at all.