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home : education : education Friday, May 24, 2019

10/17/2017 2:07:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
2017 Book Week Features Thanhha Lai
Thanhha Lai reading one of her books out loud.
Since the 1940's Book Week has celebrated the best of children's literature with teachers, librarians, and others who devote themselves to literacy for young readers. Over the past 74 years Book Week has hosted some of the most notable writers of books for young readers, including Marguerite Henry, Madeleine L'Engle, and Beverly Cleary. Each year, faculty and graduate students from the children's literature program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction review the best in books for young readers. The author's books are also made available for sale and autographing.

The guest speaker of this year's Book Week is the award-winning young adult author Thanhha Lai. Lai's debut novel Inside Out & Back Again won the 2011 National Book Award for Young People's Literature and a Newbery Honor. Her second novel, Listen, Slowly is a New York Times bestseller, Publisher's Weekly Best Book and has been heralded in Booklist's starred review as "a superb, sometimes humorous, always thought-provoking coming-of-age story."

Inside Out & Back Again is a novel in verse inspired by the author's childhood experience as a refugee. A coming-of-age story, it offers a child's-eye view of immigration and the challenges of growing up in the American south as a person of color. When the Vietnam War reaches Saigon, Hà and her family flee the home they have always known and board the ship to a home they have yet to create in America. A moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing, Inside Out was praised by reviewers as "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny." Listen, Slowly is another journey of self-discovery. California-born Mai travels to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. What Mai finds is not her parents' roots but her own. Gracefully written, the narrative offers a remarkable insight on what it means to become a bicultural person.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 17 at the McNamara Alumni Center, to hear Thanhha Lai talk about "Telling Stories from the Inside Out".


5:30-6:30 p.m. Appetizer/wine reception

6:30-7:15 p.m. Thanhhà Lai, "Telling Stories from the Inside Out"

7:15-8:30 p.m. Post-lecture conversation and Q&A, book signing to follow

Location: McNamara Alumni Center, Memorial Hall, 200 Oak St S.E., Minneapolis

St. Paul, MN



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