826LA invites you – tutors, student authors, your family and friends, and anyone who’s excited about the power of writing and publishing – to gather at The Last Bookstore in Downtown Los Angeles on the first Friday in June to celebrate the release of A Ring of Sunshine Around the Moon, 826LA’s 9th annual Young Authors’ Book Project written by the students of the Academic Leadership Community at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex. This evening will celebrate the work of Los Angeles Unified School District students in a unique project that we’ve chronicled for several months, and will include student readings, a DJ set by students mentored by KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez, and a reading from Paul Feig‘s foreword by actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director B.J. Novak.
Mr. Andy Molnar, who worked with us as the partner teacher of the 11th grade students published through this project, collaborated with 826LA to develop a year of writing in the classroom that would parallel the students’ reading of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Over the course of ten weeks, students met with 826LA tutors to brainstorm, draft, and revise a narrative mirroring some aspect of Salinger’s work. From there, the student editorial board determined an overarching theme: the difficulties of growing up. With the solar eclipse as a metaphor, they wanted to show that there is beauty in rare situations symbolized by the titular ring of sunshine around the moon. Students then wrote the book’s introduction, organized the material into chapters, and worked directly with the Los Angeles design firm Parallel Play to polish and place the visuals before sending the book off to press.
Currently, the gorgeous book sits in sealed boxes in the 826LA in Echo Park writing lab, waiting to be opened on the day of our release event. Students are going to turn into published authors on this night, and with books in hand, we expect them to glow with confidence and pride.
Admission is free to the book release party at The Last Bookstore, but any donations made will benefit 826LA and its free programs for Los Angeles youth, including activities like the Young Authors’ Book Project. Check our upcoming events to submit your RSVP when this is posted next week.