Catherine Newman’s book, “How to Be a Person,” came to be out of necessity: her 17-year-old daughter didn’t know how to clean a bathroom, and she didn’t want to learn how from a person. So, Newman went to the library to find the “photographic, encyclopedia of chores for kids,” but that book didn’t exist. So she wrote her own, and included how-tos on all kinds of topics, not just chores, like how to have conversations, how to apologize and how to contact a political representative. She says the book is a tool to help kids become “interdependent,” not just independent. When they learn these basic life skills, she says they’ll be better equipped to take on bigger challenges like racial injustice.
“How does that relate back to vacuuming? On top of everything else, everything still needs to happen. It’s like, we’re out protesting, and then we’re back cleaning the bathroom – this is human life,” Newman said.