Just in time for pride, a new children’s book is out celebrating the history of the Stonewall Inn. “Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution” is written by Rob Saunders and illustrated by Jamey Christoph and tells the story of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ-rights movement.
The children’s book traces the history of the physical building from when it was a horse stable in the Village in the 1840s to its time as a bakery and then a bar. In order to capture the history of what happened during the Stonewall Uprising, the author relied on newspaper articles and interviews with people who had been there. It was these varying accounts of what happened that led Saunders to tell the story from the perspective of the building itself.
“I found that there were so many different stories and different accounts about how Stonewall started, that it became a real process trying to decide how to tell the story,” Sanders said in an interview with NBC. “The thought came to me that these buildings have stood here for over 150 years, if only these walls could talk. And the thought rang in my head, ‘that may be the way to tell the story.’ To let the buildings talk about how they have watched history through all these years until the night they became a part of history.”
The book is also special for the illustrator, Christoph.
“As a gay artist and as someone who had my own struggles coming to terms with my identity, and valuing these type of stories that show adversity but give hope, it was personal,” Christoph said in an interview with NBC. “I really gave it my all.”
Christoph hopes the book will make an impact on young readers who may not be learning about LGBTQ history.
“I think learning LGBT history is important — to be able to give that reverence and dignity to this story in the same way we do to early American history and civil rights and suffrage,” Christoph said to NBC.