A Summer for Sweetgrass

by Megan Ciskowski, Associate Publicist

In 2013, Milkweed editions published Braiding Sweetgrass by Indigenous botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer. Since that time, the book has become a New York Times Bestseller and continues to earn recognition in both the literary and science fields.

This November, Zest Books ™, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group, will release the new YA adaptation of this breathtaking nonfiction titled Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer and Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt.

Introducing the YA Adaptation

All living things—from strawberries and witch hazel to water lilies and lichen—provide us with gifts and lessons every day. The new YA edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us.

Informative sidebars, reflection questions, and gentle art provide a meditative approach to the text and bring Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the lessons of plant life to a new generation. Perfect for individual or curriculum reading, Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults has the opportunity to change the way young people walk in the world.



In January, Lerner posted the sample chapter “Asters and Goldenrod” on NetGalley for everyone to get a little taste of what was to come. Now we’re pleased to share the complete digital ARC which has been added to our NetGalley shelf and is available for all readers to review!

This summer is the perfect time to appreciate and learn about the natural world from the plants themselves. Visit the Lerner NetGalley Shelf to start reading!

Advanced Praise for Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults is my new favorite book! What a great way for young people (and anyone, really) to learn about our healing medicines. Chii miigwech!”—Angeline Boulley, #1 NYT Bestselling author of Firekeeper’s Daughter

“This beautiful, imaginative revisioning is a gift to our children that teaches them how to follow the path of our ancestors.”—Diane Wilson, author of The Seed Keeper

“What a gift this adaptation is for all of us! Monique Gray Smith and Nicole Neidhardt have crafted a beautiful book─inviting reflection, conversation and activism that I hope young people will read and share in homes, communities, classrooms and libraries across the globe.”—Traci Sorell, two-time Sibert Honor winning author

Connect with the authors and illustrator

Robin Wall Kimmerer is an author, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her work includes Braiding Sweetgrass and Gathering Moss. She lives in upstate New York.

Monique Gray Smith is an award-winning, best-selling author and professional consultant. Her most recent novel, Tilly and the Crazy Eights was long listed for Canada Reads 2021. She is Cree, Lakota, and Scottish, and she lives in British Columbia, Canada.

Nicole Neidhardt is an artist and a Diné (Navajo) of Kiiyaa’áanii clan. She is the co-founder of the Innovative Young Indigenous Leaders Symposium and the co-founder of Groundswell Climate Collective. She is currently based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

View Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults on Edelweiss

Read more about the upcoming release in these articles

“Lerner to Publish YA Edition of Milkweed Adult Bestseller” – Publishers Weekly Online

“Young Reader Edition of Braiding Sweetgrass in the Works!” – Authors Unbound

“Lerner Publishing Group and Milkweed Editions Collaborate to Create a Young Adult Adaption of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Acclaimed Bestseller Braiding Sweetgrass” – Global Newswire

For more announcements on the blog click here!

Leave a Reply