On Thursday I attended my first book event of the year. It was a discussion and signing of the book “The Radius of us” by Marie Marquardt. As it turns out this is her second book. I was very fortunate to snag a copy of her first book while I attended the event. (Her first book is about the Dreamers.)
The discussion of The Radius of Us was very interesting and very sober. It was about people who voluntary surrender at the US/Mexico border asking for asylum. The somber part was how very few get accepted, even with the best of circumstances. Also somber is how many of these people asking for asylum are children. Their age dictates what kind of facility they are sent to. (Less than 18 years or 18 years and older.) So siblings can get separated due to age and end up at facilities in two different US states. The facility in Georgia for those who are at least 18 years old is a medium security facility. These are the kinds that visitors have to talk on a phone through glass walls. The discussion went on about how the majority will be sent back to the same place where they are trying to escape from, back to experiencing the same violence.
The author said this is very much a fantasy story. This is the story of a boy who managed to get out of such a facility. This is the end result that a lot of non-profits are trying to achieve for these kids in these places, the end result they dream of but rarely achieve.
I’m glad I attended this event and learned of this young adult book. It’s good to have your eyes opened to these things happening in our world. It’s good to learn the reality of what goes on in these situations. As the author said, it seems like in these days we need more storytellers. We need people who know about these circumstances, inside and out, and to tell their personal stories. We need to learn face to face with people living it.
The Radius of Us features artwork by Carlos Morataya. He was also at the book event. Mr. Morataya is a very nice gentleman. He had some of his artwork on display at the event and it was all wonderful. I made sure to tell him so when it was my turn for the book signing. I told Mr. Morataya to please keep up the great work, and I hope he does. He also handed out handmade bookmarks at the event. Since I got 2 books, he gave me two. I love them! Mr. Morataya has no idea how much I love bookmarks! You truly made my night with your fantastic talent!
I also couldn’t help myself and snagged a nice new tote bag. I happened to see it by chance. A young boy in the Barnes and Noble, where the event was held, happened to walk by and brush up against the display of their tote bags. One of them peeked out and immediately caught my eye. When you see the pictures, you will all know why! It’s called “Bespectacled Reader & Cat” by Sujean Rim. It’s a Barnes and Noble exclusive. ($19.95)
A redheaded woman with glasses carrying a stack of books. Stacks of books are everywhere around her. A cat is with her! On the back, the cat is wearing her glasses! The main color of the tote is my favorite color, blue! My pictures do not do this bag justice. It was nighttime when I took the photos, so the lighting of my room lights alters the color a bit.
The bag has a single snap to snap closed. Inside of the bag is a zipper pouch area. It’s actually very deep, possibly going all the way to the bottom of the bag! It should be large enough to fit my kindle!
I absolutely love this bag! I adore this bag! This bag is me. Completely me.
This bag, the books, the book discussion, and the custom bookmarks, left me on cloud nine. I was giddy with energy all night long! I am so glad I went!