Monday, April 11, 2016

Boswell Event Alert: Ally Condie, Ellen Bravo, Chia Youyee Vang with Dalia Gomaa, Adam Carr, Gail Carson Levine, Kwame Alexander, Bill Barry, plus a shout out for Milwaukee Day and a reminder for Meg Jones next week.

What's Boswell up to this week? Please note that our event with Helen Macdonald has sold out, but there are still several great options.

Monday, April 11, 6:30 pm, at the West Allis Public Library, 7421 W National Ave:
Ally Condie, author of Matched and Summerlost.

This story aimed at kids 10 and up is about a girl whose mom brings the family to a small town with a summer Shakespeare Festival after the deaths of her father and brother.  I wanted to devote a little more space to Ally Condie's Summerlost so I wrote a separate blog post. Since we boost this one, many of you probably haven't read it. I suggest you link to it here. I corrected some of the typos.

And it's nice to see Condie get a nice write up in the Deseret News from Christine Rappleye, who writes: Summerlost, written for middle grade readers, doesn’t have the fantasy elements, but it does explore relationships with friends and family, and the moments that can change those relationships. It’s an emotional story as Cedar and Leo face events in their lives and try to figure out how to be understood while their adventures draw them into a mystery that means a lot to them. 'One of the biggest compliments I could receive was when my 12-year-old read it and came back with tears in his eyes and sighed,' she (Condie) said."

Tuesday, April 12, 7 pm, at the UWM Union Fireside Lounge, 2200 W Kenwood Ave:
Ellen Bravo, author of Again and Again.

From the UWM Women's Resource Center: "Ellen Bravo, a former UWM Women’s Studies professor, returns to present her latest fiction novel Again and Again. This poignant work follows college roommates as they experience the trauma of campus sexual assault and their lives, 20 years later, when they have another opportunity to feel justice. Ellen will read a few passages from her book and engage us in riveting conversation. Light refreshments will be provided."

Ellen Bravo is currently head of Family Values @ Work, which has been in the news promoting paid family leave. She was formerly executive director of 9 to 5, and also taught women's studies at UWM. This event is cosponsored by UWM Women’s Resource Center, Sociocultural Programming, Women and Gender Studies, Student Association and Women’s Advocacy Committee.

Thursday, April 14, 4 pm, at UWM Greene Hall, which is on Downer Ave between Hampshire and Newport:
Chia Youyee Vang, co-editor of Claiming Place: On the Agency of Hmong Women and Dalia Gomaa, author of The Non-National in Contemporary American Literature: Ethnic Women Writers and Problematic Belongings.

Associate Professor of History Chia Youyee Vang teaches at UWM where she specializes in 20th century US-Asia relations, Cold War politics, Asian America history, refugee migration, transnational and diaspora communities.

Dalia Gomaa is a lecturer in the Women's and Gender Studies program where her areas of specialty are Transnational feminisms, ethnic American literature, and postcolonial and Third World literature.

Thursday, April 14, 6pm, at Turner Hall: Milwaukee Day 2016

We have no evening event today, but one option for you is the annual Milwaukee Day Celebration at Turner Hall, featuring a concert by Aill, Def Harmonic, Midnight Reruns, Lex Allen, Space Raft, and Skai Academy. Buy tickets here.

On the upper level will be 15 of Milwaukee's finest arts and crafts vendors, with proceeds benefit TransCenter for Youth's Escuela Verde.

Friday, April 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Adam Carr, author of Explore MKE: Your Neighborhood, Our City, presented by SHARP LITERACY.

One day after Milwaukee Day (it's unofficially San Francisco day I guess), we're hosting Adam Carr, Milwaukee-based writer, storyteller, producer, and all-around urban champion. His work explores the kaleidoscope of community in his hometown through a variety of mediums and platforms. This includes (but is not limited to) public art installations, bus tours, multi-media projects, photography, teaching, radio stories, and now, a children’s book.

Explore MKE is an invitation to Milwaukeeans of all ages to explore our many communities and discover our city. Inside, you’ll find the story of Jayden and Anya, two students who live in Milwaukee, but who experience their city in different ways. Informational sections weave together iconic Milwaukee institutions and neighborhood-based landmarks with common themes.

SHARP Literacy publishes one book annually as part of their mission. Their goal is to enchance future life success by energizing urban children, motivating them to identify themselves as confident, capable scholars and lifelong learners by inspiring engagement in reading, writing and research through hands-on interaction and visual arts.

Saturday, April 16, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted, cosponsored by First Stage Milwaukee.

Ella Enchanted the musical is having its world premiere at First Stage from now through May 1. Based on the book by Gail Carson Levine, the stage play and lyrics by Karen Zacaris, with music and additional lyrics by Deborah Wicks LaPuma. Mike Fischer in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote: "To steal the names of First Stage's alternating casts of young performers, Ella is both 'spectacular' and 'brilliant.' Despite its serious message, it's also uproariously funny, calling to mind two other recent First Stage shows featuring strong women overcoming benighted medieval settings: Shrek and Once Upon a Mattress.

We're excited to be hosting Gail Carson Levine, author of the classic novel, for a talk and signing cosponsored by First Stage. We'll have a First Stage representative talk about the show. For more about the production, including an author brunch on Sunday, April 17, visit their web page.

Sunday, April 17, 2 pm, at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd:
Bill Berry, author of Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way.

Berry is back with a talk about his book, discussing the garden club ladies, hunters and fishers, bird-watchers, university professors and scientists, newspaper reporters and columnists, and traditional conservationists who drew attention to the harmful effects of the miracle pesticide DDT, which was being used to control Dutch elm disease. You can read an interview with Berry here, conducted by the River Alliance of Wisconsin.

Admission to the Schlitz Audubon grounds is $8. We have five passes for free admission for your carload, which we will give out by drawing. Please email mew with the subject heading "Bill Berry Admission." We will contact the winners on Wednesday. And don't forget, admission is free for Schlitz Audubon Nature Center members.

Sunday, April 17, 3 pm, at Boswell:
Kwame Alexander, author of Booked and The Crossover.

We are honored to be hosting the Newbery-medalist author and poet Kwame Alexander in conjunction with the release of Booked, the story of a soccer-loving kid who has simply not discovered books...yet. Advance reviews have been terrific, with Publishers Weekly's starred review noting that "middle-school readers and their advocates will surely love Alexander's joyous wordplay and celebration of reading."

Rachel Martin at NPR spoke with Kwame Alexander who talked about getting kids hooked on books through poetry. He noted: "The power of poetry is that you can take these emotionally heavy moments in our lives, and you can distill them into these palatable, these digestible words and lines and phrases that allow us to be able to deal and cope with the world," he says. "I think it's one of the reasons why young people love reading novels in verse. It's because, on a very concrete level, it's not that many words so it's not that intimidating to me. There's so much white space."

Earlier, we posted our own celebration of Booked, with recommendations from Tim, Barbara, and myself.

Monday, April 18, 6:30 pm, at the Milwaukee Public Library's Rare Books Room, 814 W Wisconsin Ave, 2nd floor:
Meg Jones, author of World War II Milwaukee.

Armed with years of military and veteran reporting experience, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Meg Jones, general assignment reporter who specializes in military and veterans issues, brings to life Milwaukee's role in World War II, telling the stories of men and women fighting and reporting on the front lines, and the retooling of "the Machine Shop of the World" to become a major cog in the Arsenal of Democracy on the home front.

From her interview with WUWM's Lake Effect: "I thought here are these two very influential people with Milwaukee ties at the beginning and the end of World War II for America, so then that kind of helped me frame the book," explains Jones. "Then I started thinking about the interesting businesses, companies, factories that were making stuff, and then I thought about the interesting people ... journalists ... I knew that there was also a strong pro-Nazi presence here in Milwaukee also during the 1930s. So things just kind of began falling into place."

Hope to see you at one of this week's events.

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