Sen. Elizabeth Warren Writes Kids' Book Inspired By Real-Life 'Pinkie Promises' : 'We Are Strong'

PEOPLE has a first look at the senator's upcoming children's book Pinkie Promises

Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is releasing her first children's book next month, but the inspiration behind it started 10 years ago.

Pinkie Promises, which will be published by Godwin Books on Oct. 12, is an inspirational story about a little girl named Polly. She is often told by the men in her life, "That's not what girls do." Everything changes when Polly meets a female presidential candidate. They make a pinkie promise to always remember what girls are capable of.

Warren has been making these same pinkie promises with little girls since she first ran for the Senate in Massachusetts in 2011. This book is for them, she says.

"People told me that Massachusetts was not ready to elect a woman to the United States Senate. And I thought, 'Well, that may be so, but I'm going to make every day count,' " the senator tells PEOPLE. (See below for an exclusive first look at Pinkie Promises.)

"And so every time that I saw a little girl, I would get down on one knee and I would say, 'My name is Elizabeth, and I'm running for the Senate because that's what girls do,' " she continues. "And then we would make a pinkie promise to remember all the things that girls do."

First Look at Sen. Elizabeth Warren's kids' book
Godwin Books

At campaign rallies and events, Warren became known for the long lines of children waiting with their parents to meet her. Years after that first pinkie promise, many girls came back.

"When I ran for reelection in 2018, young women would come up and say, 'Here's my picture. I had a pinkie promise with you when I was a little girl,' " Warren remembers. "And so we did them again and then did them more on the presidential campaign trail."

Warren ran for president in 2020, but dropped out of the race in March.

"It is not the call I ever wanted to make. But I refuse to let disappointment blind me — or you — to what we've accomplished," the senator said at the time. "We didn't reach our goal, but what we have done together — what you have done — has made a lasting difference. It's not the scale of the difference we wanted to make, but it matters — and the changes will have ripples for years to come."

First Look at Sen. Elizabeth Warren's kids' book
Godwin Books

Many of her young fans were disappointed by her exit, but Warren wanted to encourage them to keep fighting with the help of her book.

"When I dropped out of the race for president, one of the things that was hardest was to think about all those little girls that I'd done pinkie promises with. So I had this idea to write a book for them. And that's what this book is. It's not a book about running for office. It's a book about the things little girls and I said to each other about what girls can do. It's about little girls recognizing how much strength they have."

In Pinkie Promises, Polly claims her place on the soccer field and runs for class president. "The point is not whether Polly scores the goal — it's that she has the courage to try," says Warren. "She took on the responsibility."

The senator says writing the book was "a labor of love." She even has her first draft of the book, including drawings she created to go along with the story.

First Look at Sen. Elizabeth Warren's kids' book
Godwin Books

"Obviously, I have never written a children's book before, but I've read a lot of them, as a child, as a mama, as an auntie and as a grandma," she says. "So I got out blank sheets of paper, folded them over and created my own book just to start with. I did my own rough drawings, but mostly [focused on] the words. I thought about it in terms of keeping the story going forward and turning pages."

Even the young kids in her family gave their input.

"I read it out loud to them over Zoom, and they gave their comments," Warren explains. "They told me when parts needed to be changed because they weren't clear. I could also tell when they were glancing off if the story ever dragged, so they helped me write a much better book."

First Look at Sen. Elizabeth Warren's kids' book
Godwin Books

More than anything, Warren wants to remind young readers to keep fighting and claim their place.

"We are strong. Winning is trying," says Warren of what she wants her readers to learn. "No, we don't always cross the finish line first, but getting in the fight is what matters most."

Pinkie Promises will hit bookstores on Oct. 12.

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