Science Fiction and Food Justice from 826NYC
826NYC has two new publications, Time Travel Is Nerve-Wracking and Food Defenders, from the imaginations of New York City’s young creative writers. Time Travel Is Nerve-Wracking, is a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories written by 5th graders from P.S. 316. Over the course of the spring semester, our staff and volunteers worked in partnership with three stellar P.S. 316 teachers–Ms. Porto, Ms. Welsh, and Ms. Wilson–to help 56 students bring their imaginations to life and write short science fiction and fantasy stories in which anything is possible. In these stories, you’ll discover crazed robots, a father of five on Uranus, a talking teddy bear that rides a unicorn, a possibly devastating volcanic eruption in Dusty Town, and much, much more.
New York Times bestselling author Daniel Jose Older, who wrote the foreword to the final publication, also met with students to talk about their stories and fantasy writing. In his foreword for Time Travel Is Nerve-Wracking, Daniel Jose Older writes, “Here you will find that rare and epic combination: terrific storytelling skills paired with the wonder and brilliance of young imaginations running free.”
Food Defenders is the inaugural perfect-bound publication from our newest program, the 826NYC Writers’ Room, a full-time in-school program serving the teachers and students at M.S. 7 and Global Tech Prep in East Harlem. The book was the culmination of a six-week project with seventh graders and the amazing teachers Ms. Delucia, Ms. Akter, and Mr. Holsten at M.S. 7 in partnership with Edible Schoolyard NYC, an organization that partners with public schools to transform the hearts, minds, and eating habits of young New Yorkers through garden and kitchen classes integrated into the school day.
Each story in Food Defenders engages with different food justice issues, from the harmful conditions of factory farming to the contamination of our drinking water. These young authors worked with 826NYC and Edible Schoolyard NYC volunteers to craft these original stories, including a superhero bringing salads and fresh vegetables to school cafeterias, a villain who is a slice of pizza, a monkey who saves the day, and a healthy mouthful of much more.
Neither of these books would be possible without the support of our community and organizational partners. Time Travel Is Nerve-Wracking and Food Defenders were supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council. Additional support was also provided by the Bay & Paul Foundations and the Morgan Creek Foundation. Special support for Time Travel Is Nerve-Wracking was provided by Amazon Literary Partnerships, and special support for Food Defenders was provided by the Heckscher Foundation for Children and the Resnick Family Foundation.