As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my nonfiction picture book All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing (illustrated by Nicole Xu and published by Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing) is one of four books included in this year’s Read Across Texas program.
Read Across Texas is coordinated by the Texas Center for the Book, part of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The program includes a May 19 conversation on Zoom between me and Nancy Wayson Dinan, author of Things You Would Know If You Grew Up Around Here:
Boyd Montgomery is 18 years old when a flash flood in central Texas sweeps away her best friend, Isaac. Despite the rising waters, Boyd is determined to save her friend, and she’s not alone in her quest: her neighbor, Carla, spots Boyd’s boot prints leading away from the safety of home and follows in her path. Hours later, her mother returns to find Boyd missing, and she, too, joins the search. All three women know the land well, but they are unprepared for the new world the storm has created and the fissures that have drawn forth the ghosts of Texas past and present. Haunting and timely, Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here considers questions of history and empathy and brings a pre-apocalyptic landscape both foreign and familiar to shockingly vivid life.
Nancy’s excellent novel (which I’m reading now) and All of a Sudden and Forever are both available for free as ebooks until late June. Our May 19 event will be moderated by Jennifer Stayton of KUT 90.5.