Young Palmetto Books

Category: Books

First, You Explore – Filled with South Carolina Connections

by Brie White

First, You Explore by Rachel Haynie is a beautifully produced story of discovery. The feeling of finding out about something for the first time and where that moment can take you is exemplified through Charles Townes. Townes, who invented the laser, is depicted in his childhood, exploring the natural world and all it had to offer. His family fed his curiosity, and the story in turn encourages its readers to nurture their inner explorer.

Young Palmetto Books has used First, You Explore as a teaching tool, giving it out to students around our state through Cocky’s Reading Express. First, You Explore offers a biographical perspective on an important South Carolinian, emphasizing to readers that learning is a lifelong journey. Richland County School District One has named First, You Explore the book for third graders in their “Together We Can Read” Initiative.

With so many ties to South Carolina, it also important to highlight the exhibits at the South Carolina State Museum, where Charles Townes’ family and invention are highlighted. The planetarium is an experience encompassing a 55 digital dome, where lasers are set to music such as the Beatles, Pink Floyd and U2. There are currently 3 shows: Earth, Moon and Sun, Back to the Moon for Good, and Two Small Pieces of Glass, with different times and dates to suit your schedule. This is the perfect activity for a family and for readers of First, You Explore!

For more information on the planetarium, or to purchase tickets:

To learn more about the “Together We Can Read” Initiative, visit Richland County School District One’s website:

To learn more about Cocky’s Reading Express, a literacy outreach program associated with the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Center for Children’s Books and Literacy:


Baby, It’s Cold Outside (and we’re hungry!)

by Brie White



These icy temperatures are brutal for both born and raised, as well as adopted, South Carolinians. With the cooler climate comes the desire for warm, comfort food and Patricia Moore- Pastides, USC’s first lady, provides many options in her Young Palmetto Books published, Greek Revival: From The Garden, Growing and Cooking for Life.

The cookbook, an add-on to her original Greek Revival, Cooking For Life, is all-encompassing, taking young readers and their families on a food filled journey that starts in the garden. The book includes explanation behind the TMD (the traditional Mediterranean diet), instructional information about the art of gardening and how to produce a successful garden year round, and a selection of recipes created from vegetables that the reader has been taught how to grow.

Recipes that are targeted for the colder months include: Chunky Savory Tomato Sauce (for pasta or pizza!) from the tomato section. Kale Soup with Butter Beans categorized under beans, and under winter squashes, soup such as the Curried Butternut-Squash and Apple are also winter staples. Fisherman’s Vegetable Stew highlights both the perfect warm meal and the TMD’s vast use of fish and other seafood.

Which recipes from Greek Revival: From the Garden are you eager to try?

Katie’s Cabbage – Continued News Exposure

by Brie White

The Young Palmetto Book Series, of the USC Press, has been extremely busy welcoming their newest book, Katie’s Cabbage, to the collection. Described as, “the charming story of one girl’s ambitious dream to end hunger, beginning with her cabbage farm”, Katie’s Cabbage, is influential and insightful, encouraging those of all ages and resources to make a difference in the issue of world hunger. Because of these qualities, the releases of Katie’s Cabbage, as well as the events following, have provided significant positive recognition for Katie Stagliano, the now 16-year-old author, and the contributors to the book’s publication.

Coverage of Katie’s story includes NBC Nightly News, where Katie’s goal of having 500 gardens in all 50 states is highlighted. This goal was created following the creation of Katie’s Krops, Stagliano’s nonprofit organization, which has, so far, started 80 gardens in 29 states. Katie’s Cabbage tells the story of the lone cabbage seedling that started Katie’s philanthropic journey – one that has been recognized for fighting hunger and agricultural ingenuity by Katie’s received Clinton Global Citizen Award.

Also acknowledging the publication of Katie’s book is AndNowUKnow’s Produce Industry News, sighting Katie’s sponsorships from organizations such BiLo, and quoting Kim Shealy Jeffcoat, editor of Young Palmetto Books, in support of the contribution that Katie’s Cabbage makes to the series as a whole.

In a recent interview with The Post and Courier, Katie says the book is centered on her desire to inspire other children, “I hope that by sharing my story, it will show how small actions can lead to big dreams and have a huge impact.” The publication of Katie’s Cabbage will surely do so.

Young Palmetto Book’s focus on educational, South Carolina based children and young adult literature has made for a collection in which Katie’s Cabbage fits perfectly. With so much positive press upon Katie’s Cabbage release, as exemplified here, the book’s continued success is certain.

Grow and Cook for Life

by sccantab

The harvest keeps rolling in, and so does press recognition for books in the Young Palmetto Books series! Patricia Moore-Pastides’ Greek Revival from the Garden: Growing and Cooking for Life, one of YPB’s debut books that came out at the beginning of the summer, is gaining more and more coverage and has just been featured in Sumter’s The Item.

Why is the second book from USC’s First Lady making so many headlines? Well, if you’ve ever tried any of Patricia’s recipes, you’ll know that they win hands-down in terms of deliciousness and easiness to prepare. But it’s also about the story and the mission behind the book. As Ivy Moore pointed out in her article, “Patricia Moore-Pastides doesn’t just worry about the health of Americans, she’s doing something about it.”

Grow your own veggies and cook them

Greek Revival from the Garden teaches you not only how to cook following The Mediterranean Diet (TMD), a healthy way of eating that has proven its benefits time and time again, but also how to incorporate it easily into your daily life, especially if you are a young adult or novice cook. In her conversational and immediately familiar voice, Patricia introduces beginners to the joys and ease of growing healthful foods and using them in your daily meals. She also explains how the food choices you make affect your body and shows how TMD choices cut down on “bad” fats and carbs and boost your intake of fresh veggies and fruits, beans and nuts, whole grains, good fats, and plant-based sources of protein.  It’s a great book to get your started on a better, tastier lifestyle.

Read the full article here, and check out sample recipes from Patricia’s site.

Greek Revival on the Television

by sccantab

Mrs. Patricia Moore-Pastides is at it again, sharing a delicious recipe with WLTX viewers around the Midlands. The recipe is from her latest book, Greek Revival from the Garden, which comes out with Young Palmetto Books this month. Have a watch for some good tips for healthy famly cooking!

First, You Explore

by sccantab

You know that feeling that every child has when they discover something new, something exciting, for the first time? It could be a bright yellow caterpillar crawling up the deck rail, or a connect-the-dots in the night sky. We don’t have to lose this sense of wonder as we get older, but we have to encourage it and let it blossom. That’s why we’re so excited here at Young Palmetto Books about one of the forthcoming books in our series: First, You Explore.

First, You Explore is a reprint of Rachel Haynie’s children’s picture book about the young Charles Townes. Townes invented the MASER and developed the principles of the subsequent LASER as we know it, eventually winning the Nobel Prize for his work. His passion for science all got started in the lush outdoors of the South Carolina Upstate. First, You Explore illustrates young Charlie’s exploration of the natural world and shows how he and his family nurtured that fascination so it stayed with him as he grew up. It’s a wonderful book that teaches about the inner explorer in all of us and reminds us of the wonder and beauty in the world surrounding us.

We’re also really excited because First, You Explore, appearing this fall, will come out just in time for the SC State Museum’s much anticipated Windows to New Worlds. Due to open in 2014, this new facility will include an on-site and online observatory and classroom, 55-foot digital planetarium dome and theater, 4D multisensory theater, plus an outdoor telescope viewing terrace and distance learning studio. It’s going to be a great opportunity for people around the state to feed their fascination and will help them explore this world and new ones.

Greek Revival from the Farmers Market

by sccantab

If you live around the Midlands of South Carolina, you might be as frustrated as we are about the wintery weather that has its grips on the area. Spring is here, they tell us, but we still need a sweater, umbrella, and rainboots to step out the door!

The bright side? All the cool-season veggies still in the ground are happy, meaning you’re sure to find cabbage, kale, chard, and others filling the farmers markets stalls this weekend. Get out of the grocery store and head to your local farmers market to stock up on these goodies and try some delicious sample recipes from Greek Revival from the Garden: Growing and Cooking for Life by Patricia Moore-Pastides. Yummy and healthy dishes, like Cabbage, Walnut, and Cranberry Salad, and Oven-baked Kale Chips with Sesame Seeds, are easy for the whole family to get involved, and they’ll all love them!

Looking forward to the return of the sun? Luscious summer veggies like tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and eggplant are just around the corner, and Patricia has a ton of recipes in Greek Revival from the Garden to help you make the most of them. Go ahead and pre-order your copy today to save a little money and be prepared for the summer with a bumper crop of mouthwatering meals.

Robert Smalls at the Press

by sccantab

Robert Smalls is not a familiar name to many, but it should be. Growing up a slave in Beaufort, SC, and being hired out to work in Charleston (with most of his wages collected by his master), he resented slavery and tried to buy freedom for himself and his wife. Unable to save enough to free his family and seeing an opportunity to fight against slavery,  Robert organized several other blacks to hijack a Confederate ship and sail to the North with their families. When they reached the Union blockade, Robert surrendered the ship, joined the Union navy, and became a free man.

Eventually, he returned to Beaufort and actively dove into community reform and development to turn around the lives of the newly freed blacks. In 1868, he was elected to the SC Constitutional Convention to revise the state constitution and worked to create the state public school system and protect the rights of African Americans. He served in the SC Legislature for 20 years and then five terms in the US Congress before moving full-time back to Beaufort to stay involved in civil rights at home.

Robert’s life and achievements offer a powerful lesson about our past and our present. They teach about persevering, taking risks for what you believe in, and returning to your community to improve it and the lives of others. In Fragments of the Ark, Louise Meriwether takes the adventures and morals from Robert’s life and reshapes them into the fictional account of Peter Mango, a man going through much of the same circumstances and actions as Robert. The novel paints an accurate history of the South during and after the Civil War, and Mango is an inspiring hero bringing the people of the Civil War and Reconstruction to life for young adults.

We’re honored here at Young Palmetto Books to have the opportunity to publish the reprint of Fragments of the Ark and expand its reach across the state and beyond. Among other praise the book has received, Maya Angelou lauds the novel:

Fragments of the Ark“Incredibly moving…. Fragments of the Ark explains why the Civil War remains positioned in the American psyche as bitter race memory. In Louise Meriwether’s capable writing hands, the conflict becomes as real as the odor of freshly spilled blood, and the suffocating presence of gunpowder in the air.”—Maya Angelou

We’re also excited to announce that coming soon from YPB is a children’s picture-book, The Freedom Ship of Robert Smalls, in which Louise Meriwether returns to the subject of Robert Smalls but with a younger audience in mind. The book will feature illustrations by South Carolina’s beloved Jonathan Green, whose work has garnered national and international acclaim.

An Epicurean delight!

by sccantab

Epicurious has featured Young Palmetto Books’ Greek Revival from the Garden: Growing and Cooking for Life by Patricia Moore-Pastides, in its “epi-log” blog on food news. This review of the book highlights how great this resource is for helping families, young adults, and other food novices truly take control of their diet and stay healthy. Book jacket for Greek Revival from the Garden

At our pre-launch party a few weeks ago, Patricia shared with us that she’s included a recipe from Katie Stagliano in her cookbook. Katie, pictured here with Patricia and Cocky, started the hot non-profit initiative, Katie’s Krops, which helps youth start community gardens around the nation. YPB will be publishing Katie’s story, Katie’s Cabbage, later this summer, so get excited!

Patricia Moore-Pasrides, Cocky, and Katie Stagliano