By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Big news about “Little People”

I am very excited to announce that my hometown of Middleborough has adopted my book on dwarfism, “Little People,” as its high-school summer-reading book. Students and teachers at Middleborough High School (from which I graduated in 1974) will be asked to read “Little People” and be prepared to discuss topics such as genetics, history and disability throughout the school year. I’ll be visiting a few times.

When Doug Haskell, who chairs the MHS English department, told me about the selection a couple of months ago, I had to scramble. The book has been out of print for several years. There was also no reliable way of estimating how great demand would be  — the full text of the book is already available online for free, and no doubt a lot of students will try to read it that way.

So, working with Bronwen Blaney at the Harvard Book Store of Cambridge, I put together a print-on-demand paperback edition, thus eliminating the need to print a bunch of copies that may or may not sell. Not to go too heavy on the marketing, but I was pleased with how well it came out — it really looks and feels like a trade paperback. The price, $16, is pretty reasonable, given that the list price of the hardcover edition was $25.

I have completely retooled the website using I’ve also created a Facebook group, where I hope students, teachers and anyone else who is interested will feel free to discuss “Little People” and issues related to dwarfism.


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  1. charles pierce

    No casino and now this!
    Dan is in his happy place today and it’s name is — MIDDLEBOROUGH!

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Charles: Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do a reading at the MGM Grand.

  2. Bill Hanna

    That’s terrific. Congratulations.

  3. BP Myers

    Congratulations, Dan. Truly wonderful news.

    Know you’re busy with other things, but why not a new, updated edition?

    Given the increased interest in the subject (reflected by reality shows and whatnot) not to mention the sorts of advancements in DNA technologies you’ve written about, I suspect it would do very well indeed.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @BP: Thank you for the thought. I am working on another book right now, but it’s got nothing to do with dwarfism. Been there, done that, I guess. Although I should add that the online and print-on-demand editions do have a new introduction.

  4. Jon Keller

    Readers of this blog who have not found time to read “Little People” should absolutely do so. It is a beautifully-written and well-researched exploration of a fascinating topic, and also a poignant and moving expression of family love. For regulars here, it has the added benefit of giving you some insight into the caring, sensitive person behind the razor-sharp blogger.

  5. Donna Morris

    Congratulations to all on your commendable effort to inform and educate. The Facebook group is a great idea. I’ll be checking it out.

  6. john stewart

    when I saw the ondemand technology presented on tv, the owner of the bookstore said that the publisher gets paid as if there was an actual book sold. Is this still the case with out of print books

    • Dan Kennedy

      @John: The book actually has to be out of print. Once “Little People” was out of print and the rights reverted back to me, I was free to do with it as I pleased. Yes, there is some profit built into the $16 price.

  7. Glen Bergendahl

    Congratulations Dan.

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