VIRTUAL: Christina Soontornvat and Erin Entrada Kelly in support of Read It Forward

Join us for an amazing dual event with two fantastic middle grade authors: Christina Soontornvat and Newbery award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly!

This event will be held on Crowdcast. Register here.  Please consider making a donation to our Read It Forward program when you register.

About A Wish in the Dark:

A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice. 

All light in Chattana is created by one man — the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong’s prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free.

Nok, the prison warden’s perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family’s good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat’s twist on Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice — and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark.

Christina Soontornvat grew up in a small Texas town where she spent many childhood days behind the counter of her parents’ Thai restaurant with her nose in a book. She is the author of many books for young readers, including The Blunders, illustrated by Colin Jack. She now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two children.

A Wish in the Dark is part of Belmont Books’ Read It Forward  book donation program, which provides new books to families in need through school and community programs in Belmont, Arlington, Watertown, and Waltham. Many thanks to Somerville-based Candlewick Press for its support.

About We Dream of Space:
Newbery Medalist and New York Times–bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly transports readers to 1986 and introduces them to the unforgettable Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas in this pitch-perfect middle grade novel about family, friendship, science, and exploration. A great choice for readers of Kate DiCamillo, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Rebecca Stead.

Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas are three siblings in seventh grade together in Park, Delaware. In 1986, as the country waits expectantly for the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, they each struggle with their own personal anxieties.

Cash, who loves basketball but has a newly broken wrist, is in danger of failing seventh grade for the second time. Fitch spends every afternoon playing Major Havoc at the arcade on Main and wrestles with an explosive temper that he doesn’t understand. And Bird, his twelve-year-old twin, dreams of being NASA’s first female shuttle commander, but feels like she’s disappearing. 

The Thomas children exist in their own orbits, circling a tense and unpredictable household, with little in common except an enthusiastic science teacher named Ms. Salonga. As the launch of the Challenger approaches, Ms. Salonga gives her students a project—they are separated into spacecraft crews and must create and complete a mission. When the fated day finally arrives, it changes all of their lives and brings them together in unexpected ways.

Told in three alternating points of view, We Dream of Space is an unforgettable and thematically rich novel for middle grade readers.

We Dream of Space is illustrated throughout by the author.

Erin Entrada Kelly was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe.  Her debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and You Go First, a New York Times bestseller, Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick, Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and School Library Journal Best Book. She grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now lives in Delaware. www.erinentradakelly.com

Event date: 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 6:30pm

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Ticketed Event: 

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A Wish in the Dark Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536204940
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - March 24th, 2020

A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice.


We Dream of Space Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062747303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 5th, 2020

Newbery Medalist and New York Times–bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly transports readers to 1986 and introduces them to the unforgettable Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas in this pitch-perfect middle grade novel about family, friendship, science, and exploration. A great choice for readers of Kate DiCamillo, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Rebecca Stead.


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Age Group(s): 

Middle Grade (8 - 12)