“When I was seven, I got to spend the night in a planetarium.”

Indonesia, 1977. The true story of a child, a play, and the art of resistance.

From the author and illustrator of A is for Activist and Counting on Community. This time, Innosanto Nagara tells a true story from his childhood in Indonesia. It is a child’s view of a particular place and time—but it is also an introduction to Indonesia, a story about colonialism, and a message about the power of creativity.


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My Night in the Planetarium is a sweet, smart tribute to the author’s father, to the radical power of art, and to the rich history of Indonesia. With gorgeous illustrations and an engaging narrative, this is art and resistance as seen through a child’s eyes, and told by a fantastic storyteller.”

—Kate Schatz
Rad American Women A-Z
and Rad Women Worldwide

“It’s a stirring tribute to the power of the arts to challenge injustice, recounted with the confidence of a practiced storyteller.”

—Publisher’s Weekly (Read the full review)

“I loved this story so much, my God it is just like the reality we are living in, just like a mirror, it inspires and guides us to do what we need to do. This story makes us want to cry and scream out: it is enough, let us be brave and stop lying to ourselves, face the reality! It is a story that gives us hope and tells us not to hesitate and it teaches our children to always follow the truth even if it is sometimes difficult.”

—Nabil Al-Raee
Artistic Director at The Freedom Theater in Jenin refugee camp, Palestine

“Can children be fascinated by dictatorship, persecution, the struggle against silence in a country very few people have heard about? This enchanting book proves that this sort of story, treated with delicacy and humor can – and should – reach a wide audience.”

Ariel Dorfman
Playwright, novelist, and human rights activist. Author of Death and the Maiden, and many other works.

“Innosanto Nagara’s beautifully illustrated My Night in the Planetarium is a delightful narrative about Indonesia: the fourth largest country, which we should all know more about. Told from the point of view of himself as a young boy, the story encourages children to be curious, engaged and courageous. What a wonderful lesson about history and people power, written and illustrated with great charm and wit.”

—Medea Benjamin
Co-founder, Global Exchange and Code Pink

“This is an all-ages masterpiece. There are few people who are looking at children’s lit through the anti-oppression lens. I was incredibly moved by this book on every possible level.”

Dan Zanes
Maker of 21st century all-ages music and Grammy Award winning album Catch that Train!