A University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo student has published an anthology of climate-themed stories written by fellow classmates. The e-book, An Anthology for a Threatened Planet: The Tides are Changing…Ride the Wave, edited by Kai Gaitley, is currently available on Amazon.
Gaitley took a literature and the environment geography class taught by Kathryn Besio. For the final exam, the students in the class were asked to write a climate-themed short story.
Gaitley says for many of the students, learning about the realities of climate change was a shock, having been fed a lifetime of disinformation. He says the fear and anger that sometimes bubbles up in the stories is a reflection of their feelings. “Many of the stories focus on family and home, showing who the authors were scared and angry for.”
“I suggested to Professor Besio that it would be nice to make these available as a collection, because as a whole, the message they conveyed was emblematic of the mindset of the group,” said Gaitley. “Professor Besio then suggested that for the next semester I should take on the project as directed studies. So in spring this year, I set about editing 13 short stories and learning the process of e-publishing.”
The student authors:
- “The Rising” by Kimiko Taguchi
- “Our Excuse” by Tessa Henderson
- “Plus-One: Fireball” by Tynsl Kailimai
- “Home Cooking” by Jack Stonehouse
- “Surviving the Heat” by Jess Bee
- “Little Soldiers” by Jadessa
- “The Last Directorate” by Uilani Lesli
- “The Journal of Emalia Lononui” by Kim Leolani Kalama
- “A Native’s Journey” by Paele Kiakona
- “The Koʻa Chronicle” by Jowell Kaimana Guerreiro
- “Naitram Saviors” by Heidi Featherstone
- “The Flora Design” by Traven Apiki
- “Ghosts of The Delta” by Kai A. Gaitley
The book’s cover art is by UH Hilo student Zoe Whitney.
When Gaitley decided to look for someone well known to do the introduction, he found Lynne Cherry, an internationally known environmentalist, author, illustrator and filmmaker dedicated to communicating with children. Cherry founded the educational organization Young Voices for the Planet, a film series dedicated to educating and empowering children and youth about addressing climate change. All proceeds from the anthology will go to the Young Voices for the Planet project.
“It was the greatest accident we could have imagined, as Lynne created the Young Voices for the Planet project, which makes films about young people doing incredible things to combat climate change,” Gaitley explains. “She readily agreed to help us and write an introduction [and then] promote it to her fans on our behalf.”
—By Susan Enright