The idea behind this fun activity is to copy the first line (or so) of a current read or something you are looking forward to reading in hopes of encouraging someone else to read the same book.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a book-talk/presentation by Bluebonnet-nominated children’s author, Alda Dobbs at the Freeman Library at Clear Lake in Houston, Texas. It was right down the street from The University of Houston Clear Lake where I am an adjunct professor, so it was an easy trip to make. It was good to see Alda again, our last visit being at my home in Alvin last spring after My Better Half died. She and her beautiful, clever kids spent the afternoon with me and even brought me take out from Mr. Sombrero’s. I posted about it here on PWR as “An Afternoon with an Author.”
Alda was an excellent speaker, constantly engaging the audience with questions and urging them to guess how many or what percent of Mexicans were literate , owned land, etc. The actual facts were surprising. It made the kids realize why the Mexican Revolution happened. She first told about her grandmother, often showing old photographs of what she was describing from newspapers and other sources. Everyone’s attention was focused and engaged.
Her first book, The Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna covered the escape from the fighting in Mexico to the Other Side of the River (the second book) to safety in the U.S.
…the second book begins at the exact point the other finishes. Here is the first line:
“Thousands of us–the poorest of the poor, the underdogs–choked the bridge and begged for our lives to the gatekeepers, and despite the glistening over the smooth river below us, everyone including me, believed it was the end of our lives.”
How’s that for excitement at the very beginning of the book, and it’s all TRUE! These are the stories Alda’s Great Grandmother told her mother, who then told Alda. One of the most interesting parts of Dobbs’ speech was how she researched and read for years to validate the stories told to her with photos, newspaper articles and history books. It was an afternoon well spent!
The book will be launched September 2nd at the Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Texas. I plan to be in attendance.