Only a few copies of the paperback Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution! left

final cover

A children’s picture book biography about Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson

We have a few copies of the paperback version of our new picture book left. Order yours today or pre-order the hardcover.

“A beautiful story of friendship, bravery, and the courage
to stand up to be yourself and do what is right.”
Tatiana Quiroga, Director of Family Equity & Diversity, Family Equality

“When we share books like this with young people…we can begin to set them on a path of acceptance and understanding.”
Mike Rawls, children’s librarian and blogger at

“[A] beautiful, resourceful, informative and important addition to trans history.”
Dr. Wenn B. Lawson (PhD) CPsychol AFBsS

Through lush illustrations and sizzling prose, Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution! tells the story of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, two trans women of color who sparked the modern LGBTQIA2 movement.

Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson meet in 1969 as homeless transgender girls of color.  Sylvia longs for change, saying, “Someday we’ll be able to wear whatever we want.  People will call us by our chosen names and we’ll never go hungry.”  Together, they make history during the Stonewall Rebellion, kick-starting the movement for acceptance of queer and trans youth.  Sylvia and Marsha help transgender girls by sharing what they have in abundance: friendship. Today, they are still remembered, showing that best friends can change the world.

play button for book trailer

Watch the book trailer for Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution!

Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution!  is a picture book perfect for children, their parents, and any trans person who didn’t get to see themselves reflected in children’s literature. It’s not too late to read the stories you deserve and share them with the kids you love.

A Picture Book By and For Queer and Trans People

Joy Michael Ellison is a queer and non-binary trans writer, whose creative writing has appeared in Lunch Ticket, the Baltimore Review, Story Club Magazine, and many other places. They are also a PhD candidate researching transgender history and the recipient of a Yuyi Morales Merit Scholarship from the Children’s Picture Book Academy.  They are the creator of If We Knew Trans History, a public history blog through which they have been sharing information about Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson for years. Joy believes that telling the stories of our past is integral to  healing, transformation, resistance, and survival.

Teshika Silver is an illustrator whose vivid, intricate art work lovingly depicts the lives of people of color and the work of revolutionary movements. Tesh uses both traditional media and digital  programs to create pieces that are both captivating and magical.  She is a teaching artist at the Hyde Park Art Center where she works closely with youth. She strives to  create work that uplifts, heals and promotes the resilience of  marginalized people.

We care about representing our community with honesty, humor, respect and historical accuracy. Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution! will help you have important conversations about gender, sexuality, and race with the children in your life.

Order Your Copy Now

Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution! will be available in hardback from Jessica Kingsley Press in November 2020.  A limited number of paperback copies leftover from our Kickstarter are available for order now.

Invite Us

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working hard to promote this title. We are available for online readings, digital library visits, virtual book signings, and guest blogging, as well as live workshops for kids and parents. Please contact us and we’ll create an event together.

Resources for Parents and Teachers

Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution! is the perfect way to start a conversation with kid about important topics like gender, activism, police, and social justice. We have created resources that will help you talk to the children you love, even if you don’t know much about Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson.


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