Texas Center for the Book to Host Free “Read Across Texas” Virtual Author Event May 19

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Austin, TX

Austin, TX – The Texas Center for the Book invites book lovers statewide to register for its May 19 Read Across Texas author event featuring Texas writers Nancy Wayson Dinan and Chris Barton, moderated by KUT’s Jennifer Stayton.

Read Across Texas, the biennial statewide reading program organized by the Texas Center for the Book (TCFB), offers a broad canvas for convening individuals and groups to explore the unique questions, challenges and solidarity that can occur around the theme of “recovery” in communities. During a period of extreme difficulties, isolation and loss, the TCFB recognizes the importance of sharing stories to build understanding and support. Literature can be one of the many routes to recovery. This year’s campaign features four book selections that will give communities a platform to engage in challenging, insightful and transformative conversations. The TCFB is pleased to host this free, virtual author event at 6:00 p.m. Central on Wednesday, May 19.

Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here by Nancy Wayson Dinan considers questions of history and empathy and brings a pre-apocalyptic landscape both foreign and familiar to shockingly vivid life. This title will be available for Texans in e-book format in May and June.

All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing by Chris Barton, illustrated by Nicole Xu, considers tragedy, hope and healing and was released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. This title will be available for Texans in e-book format in May and June.

Other Read Across Texas 2021 titles include We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time by José Andrés with Richard Wolffe and What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner.

Thanks to E-Read Texas, access to the e-book versions of We Fed an Island, All of a Sudden and Forever, and Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here will be available to all Texas residents from May 3 through June 25.

Nancy Wayson Dinan is the author of Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here, which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. A former managing editor for Iron Horse Literary Review, her work has appeared in the Texas Observer, Arts & Letters, and Paris Review Daily. Nancy earned an MFA from the Ohio State University in 2013, and a PhD from Texas Tech University, where she taught for several years, including at the TTU Costa Rica campus. She's currently a faculty member at Western Kentucky University.

Chris Barton is the author of picture books including bestseller Shark vs. Train, Sibert Honor-winning The Day-Glo Brothers, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, which was included on 21 state reading lists. His newest books include Fire Truck vs. Dragon, All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing, What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (included on the 2020-21 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List), and the upcoming How to Make a Book (About My Dog), illustrated by Sarah Horne.

Jennifer Stayton has worked for commercial and public radio stations in Austin; Syracuse, New York; and Western Massachusetts. She has a master’s degree from Syracuse University in Radio-Television-Film. Jennifer has been the local anchor and host of NPR's “Morning Edition” on KUT 90.5 since 2004. She also hosts and produces interviews for KUT and kut.org. Jennifer serves on the Advisory Committee for KTSW 89.9 at Texas State University in San Marcos. She is also a Board member and mentor for Women Communicators of Austin.

Learn more and register for the May 19 Zoom discussion at www.tsl.texas.gov/rat2021/event. A recording will also be made available after the event.

Established in 1987, the Texas Center for the Book seeks to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy, and libraries. The Center builds partnerships with library professionals, educators, authors, publishers and booksellers who provide support to our shared mission of promoting a love of literature throughout the Lone Star State. The Texas Center for the Book is under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at the Lorenzo De Zavala State Archives and Library Building in Austin, Texas.


The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit tsl.texas.gov.

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Rebekah Manley
Texas Center for the Book Coordinator
Page last modified: May 24, 2021