“Everyone has a right to think freely” – free children’s books about science and humanism released to Muslim-majority countries
Where do we come from? What are we? How can we all get along?
For many, answers to these questions are sought in houses of worship. But like almost half of their Gen Z peers, youth authors Elle (12) and Bailey Harris (16) draw their guiding principles and values from science and humanism, not religion. The sisters have written four beloved children’s books — Elle the Humanist and the three-book My Name is Stardust series — which explore secular topics including humanism, the solar system and evolution in language and pictures that young children can understand.
Bailey, who was eight years old when she began writing her first book, explains, “I wanted kids of all ages to see that we humans are a part of something beautiful, natural and larger than ourselves.” Now, the impact of their books is larger than she or her sister ever imagined. With the help of the Translations Project, Label Free Publishing is thrilled to announce that all four books are now available in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and Bahasa Indonesia for free as downloadable PDFs at www.translationsproject.org.
The Translations Project was created by the Center for Inquiry in response to a growing appetite for scientific literature in Muslim-majority countries, where accessing such literature in the local language can be difficult, and sometimes dangerous. The program began by offering free translations of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkin’s many books and today records over 20,000 downloads a year. The translation of the Harris sisters’ books marks the first time the program has taken on children’s literature — and the response has been overwhelming.
Wafa Bahri, Director of the Translations Project, explains, “We’ve gotten so many emails from the translators, many who must stay anonymous out of fear for their safety, about how much they appreciate working on these children’s books. They understand the importance of this work, and care deeply about bringing change to their own countries.”
Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard and MIT adds, “Elle the Humanist is one of my favorite humanist books — period. There are countless millions of people all over the world who are essentially raising their children as humanists, but without the tools or understanding of what that identity really means. This little book could help spark a conversation that changes the world’s perspective on religious diversity.”
Label Free Publishing is based in Santa Barbara, California and aims to inspire a love of science and nature and a sense of wonder at the universe. The Translations Project is a program of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, part of the Center for Inquiry.
Citations, References And Other Reading
- Feature Image Courtesy: https://www.kingsenglish.com/event/bailey-harris-and-douglas-harris-my-name-stardust
The views, opinions and analyses expressed in the articles on Humanist Freedoms are those of the contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publishers.