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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Abolition is Love
Book cover for Abolition is Love

What can abolition mean for a child? How can it help them dream a different future for their community?

In Abolition is Love, Amelie learns about collective care, mutual aid, and abolitionist ideas as they help their parents get ready for the annual Prisoners’ Justice Day. Amelie explores big concepts like love, justice, and care, and learns how we can build a different world together through the small choices we make every day. They learn to resolve a conflict with their cousin who plays differently than they do, they help their Papa plan a more accessible park for all, and collectively they create a beautiful banner. Amelie is also excited to hold their own candle at the rally, and they look forward to this big kid moment–to join the ranks of activists calling for justice and abolition. The book explores possibilities for hope, and offers ideas for caring for each other and building communities rooted in social justice and safety for all people. Parents and teachers can engage young readers with the expansive illustrations and prompts that suggest new ways of being in the world together.

Abolition is Love!

Book cover for Abolition is Love
Book cover for Abolition is Love

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“Syrus has given us an immense gift with Abolition is Love—this children’s book is full of practical visions of the future from characters who feel like community. Help our babies understand the breadth and complexity of abolition by reading them this text and having them read it to each other.”

“This book is a treasure — a beautifully written and illustrated vision for building a future our young ones can thrive in. Encouraging children to be active participants in building healthy relationships and developing empathy and compassion is just what this world needs.”

“Papa says abolition is love—it’s a way of dreaming about the future and making sure that we all get to be free.” As a brown-skinned family prepares signs for Prisoners’ Justice Day, Ware and Fricker outline abolition’s many meanings through the perspective of a child learning about the topic. In bright-hued, bustling illustrations, community members of various abilities, ages, body types, and skin tones create public art, protest police intervention, support unhoused neighbors, stand for the return of Indigenous lands, and welcome formerly imprisoned individuals with open arms. The narrator, too, serves the community, helping to make an accessible park, finding new ways to resolve conflict with a cousin, learning to pass knowledge on to others, visiting an incarcerated relative, and joining others in observing Prisoners’ Justice Day. It’s a powerful picture book that traces philosophies of community care and restorative justice, and exemplifies for readers ways to “help each other to get free along the way to abolition.

SYRUS MARCUS WARE is cofounder of Black Lives Matter Canada and an Assistant Professor at the School of the Arts, McMaster University. A scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator, Syrus uses drawing, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and Black activist culture. He is part of the Performance Disability Art Collective, curator of the That’s So Gay show, and a past co-curator of Blackness Yes!/Blockorama. Syrus is the co-editor of the best-selling Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (URP, 2020), and the illustrator of the children’s book I Promise written by Catherine Hernandez. He lives in Tkaronto (also known as Toronto, Canada).

ALANNAH FRICKER is a mom, caregiver, community organizer, artist, activist, educator, and Registered Social Worker living in Toronto/Tkaronto. She has organized with the Toronto Prisoners’ Rights Project, Abolition Coalition, and Students for Harm Reduction, and is involved in a wide variety of mutual aid, popular education, direct action, and creative arts projects focused on building a world where we keep each other safe. Alannah is currently completing her Master’s of Arts in Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto. Abolition is Love is the first children's book she has illustrated.