Alex Advani ’23 and his twin brother, Eliot ’23, are fascinated by technologies that will have a major impact on tomorrow. They’ve taken a deep dive into 10 of them in their new book, The Future of Food, Money, and Work: 10 Technologies that Every Kid Should Know About. As its title implies, the book helps teach young learners about some nascent–and complex–fields, such as cellular agriculture and cryptocurrency. The Wheeler seniors were inspired to create it after taking an online course about emerging technologies that was interesting, but not particularly accessible. “It included a lot of complicated languages and information that could be hard to understand if you didn’t already have a formal introduction to it,” says Alex. “So we wanted a way to make it accessible to younger kids who would still be interested in it in a more digestible way, and we figured that the best way to do that would be to write a book about it.”
Alex and Eliot knew that in order for their book to be effective, the visuals related to emerging technologies would be just as important as the words describing them. “We found an artist online who did freelance work, and we talked with them for a bit, and we really liked their illustrations, which are a big component because it’s a kids book,” explains Eliot.
With an illustrator joining the team, Alex and Eliot split up the other remaining tasks to produce and self-publish their book. “It was a good lesson in communication, and we were able to split the roles up and make sure that we could get a good product out with both of us working to our strengths,” says Alex.
As Eliot describes, “Alex focused more on the research and writing, and I was able to work with the illustrator and also manage the design side of things.”
Before publishing the book, they shared advance copies with family and friends who have young kids so they could get a sense of how well it would connect with their target readers. “Through those channels of parents, we got great feedback, but that also turned out to be a good, preliminary way to get the book out there and known,” says Alex.
The Future of Food, Money, and Work is now available through several major outlets, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon. “I think it should be a really interesting read for kids who are younger, like students in Wheeler Lower School, because it kind of compounds on what they learn in the average science class,” Eliot describes. “They’ll learn about real world applications that are really interesting and may seem, in some ways, like science fiction. I think it will be awesome for younger kids to be able to read it and get even more excited about what they’re learning in school and about what the future has in store.”