Michelle Obama Launches Younger Readers’ Edition Of Her Inspiring Biography

The acclaimed memoir by Former US First Lady Michelle Obama has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. Now its author is reaching out to young people on World Book Day.

BECOMING, the number one international bestselling memoir by former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, has been published in two new editions by Penguin Random House UK.

A Younger Readers edition (rrp £14.99), adapted for children aged 10 and up. It features

  • a special introduction by the author
  • three full-colour photographic inserts.

It’s released in hardcover by Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s.

A paperback edition (rrp £12.99) of the original memoir. This includes

  • a new introduction by the author
  • a letter from Mrs Obama to her younger self
  • book club guide featuring 20 discussion questions and a 5-question Q&A.

It’s issued by Viking, an imprint of Penguin.

Bumps, bruises and challenges

With the Younger Readers edition of BECOMING, Michelle Obama tells her full story for a new generation with her trademark honesty and candour.

In sharing her joys and triumphs alongside the bumps, bruises, and challenges she has encountered along the way, Mrs Obama invites readers to realise that no one is perfect, and that the process of becoming is what matters. Finding yourself is an ever evolving process.

In telling her own story with boldness, she asks young readers: Who are you, and what do you want to become?

As Mrs Obama writes in her introduction to the Younger Readers edition, “Growing up on the South Side of Chicago in the 1960s and ’70s, my parents, Fraser and Marian Robinson, always kept it straight with me and my brother, Craig.

“They never sugar-coated hard truths or presented their reality as anything other than what it was — because they knew we could handle it. I want to give you all that same respect.”

“My story in all its messy glory”

Mrs Obama continues, “So my promise to you is to give you my story in all its messy glory. From the time I struggled in front of my kindergarten class, to my first kiss and the insecurities I felt growing up, to the chaos of a campaign trail, to the strange experience of shaking hands with the Queen of England…

“I hope that as you’re reading my story, you’ll also think about your own — because it’s the most beautiful gift you’ll ever have.”

With the hardback release of BECOMING in 2018, Michelle Obama invited readers into her world for the first time. She chronicled the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work. She covers her time spent in the White House as First Lady of the United States, and also her transition back to life as a private citizen.

An extraordinary role model

Critically acclaimed for its striking candour and honesty, the book sold more than 15 million copies worldwide in all formats. The hardback edition has spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

The audiobook, read by Mrs Obama, received the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

A documentary chronicling Mrs Obama’s unprecedented 34-city stadium book tour received international critical acclaim when it premiered on Netflix in May 2020.

While in the White House and in the years since, Michelle Obama has become an extraordinary role model, particularly for women and girls. These new editions of BECOMING offer a unique opportunity for readers, young and old, to share a dialogue based on her timeless and honest wisdom.

About Mrs Obama…

Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009-2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, she started her career as an attorney at Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin. There she met her future husband, Barack Obama.

She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organisation that prepares young people for careers in public service.

The Obamas currently live in Washington, DC, and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Follow @michelleobama on Instagram and Twitter.

BECOMING: Adapted for Younger Readers by Michelle Obama
Puffin | Ages 10 and up | HB £14.99, ebook £14.99

BECOMING Paperback
Viking | PB £12.99, ebook £7.99

BECOMING Audio narrated by Michelle Obama
Penguin Books | Audio download £16.00, audio CD £20.00

Getting and spending your World Book Day vouchers…

World Book Day will continue to provide a printed token for children still in a school or nursery setting. Schools will also have the option of a new single-use digital version to share with families that can be printed at home or shown to booksellers on a phone or tablet.

World Book Day’s range of £1 books can be found in major supermarkets as well as bookshop chains, and bookshops are offering new ways to make the £1 books available, even in lockdown. Booksellers will honour the tokens beyond March 28 (while stocks last) and many are planning to welcome families to World Book Day events later in spring.

A full FAQ about World Book Day in lockdown is available here

Sarah Proctor

I've worked on a variety of regional newspapers and national magazines. My Weekly and Your Best Ever Christmas are fantastic, warm-hearted brands with an amazing, talented team. I'm a sub-editor and particularly love working on cookery, fiction and advice pages - I feel I should know all the secrets of eternal life, health and happiness by now, but hey, we all need that regular reminder!