Award-winning youth and adult author and teacher Jewell Parker Rhodes will discuss her powerful novels Towers Falling and Ninth Ward at two free presentations April 19 and 20 in Bellingham.
Hear Rhodes discuss her powerful, insightful novels and learn more about navigating difficult concepts, events, and conversations through story. Rhodes’ books and presentations are recommended for everyone from upper elementary school age through adults. The events below are free and open to the public.
Wednesday, April 19: Towers Falling
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Bellingham Public Library
Central Library Lecture Room
Jewell Parker Rhodes discusses Towers Falling, her powerful novel that explores the impact of 9/11 and how communities grow and heal, and inspires us to consider how we are all influenced by history, and that “history is about feelings, too.” How do those with no personal memory of the event find meaning and importance? Why does history matter, and how do each of us fit into the larger context of community and society? What is resilience and what does it have to do with our past? In the days, months, and years following the 9/11 attacks, we were shocked, we mourned and we asked question after question. How did this happen? Who did this? Why did this happen? Fifteen years later, we have many answers, but there is a generation of youth born after September 11, 2001 whose families, educators, and communities were impacted.
Thursday, April 20: Ninth Ward
Exhibit preview: 3:30 pm
Lecture: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Whatcom Museum, Lightcatcher Building
Jewell Parker Rhodes discusses Ninth Ward, set in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, an award-winning and deeply emotional story of love, family, friendship, resilience, and transformation. Attendees are invited to preview the photo exhibition, The Katrina Decade: Images of an Altered City, free of charge at 3:30 p.m., prior to Rhodes’ free presentation, which will be held amid the exhibit.
About Jewell Parker Rhodes
What is history? Why does it matter? How do I fit in to major events that have shaped our nation and world? What impact do they have on me, my family, and my community? Rhodes tackles these and other tough questions and timely topics through the power of story. With expertly crafted characters and carefully researched historical events, she inspires conversations about who we are, how we fit in to our communities, and the power of love and resilience.
Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of the Louisiana Girls children’s book trilogy, which includes Ninth Ward, Sugar, and Bayou Magic. Her children’s books have received the Parents’ Choice Foundation Award and the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, among others. Towers Falling, her new middle grade novel, was published in 2016. She is also the author of six adult novels, a memoir, and two writing guides. Her adult literary awards include the American Book Award, the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction, and others.
She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drama Criticism, a Master of Arts in English, and a Doctor of Arts in English (Creative Writing) from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a professor of Creative Writing and American Literature and the Artistic Director and Piper Endowed Chair of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University.
Public events featuring Jewell Parker Rhodes are hosted by Bellingham Public Library, Village Books, Western Washington University Libraries, and the Whatcom Museum, with funding support from Friends of the Bellingham Public Library. Additional thanks to Rhodes, who has committed to donating her speaking fees toward the purchase of new books for local schools.