The 10th annual Kids Reading Across Rhode Island program kicked off at the State House on Saturday, May 4, 2019 where Molly Brooks, author of the graphic novel Sanity & Tallulah signed books, fielded questions from the KRARI Jr. Press Corps, and addressed children and adults in the Governor’s State Room. The kick-off also marked the beginning of the 2019 statewide Summer Reading Program, “A Universe of Stories.” A gifted young scientist, a three-headed kitten, and a space station gone haywire make Sanity & Tallulah an out of this world complement to the programming and events happening in public libraries throughout the summer.
Molly Brooks answered questions from a packed room of children and families, speaking to her love of cats (she wrote Sanity & Tallulah when she lived in an apartment that prohibited pets) and buddy-cop shows. When questioned about why she made her main characters girls, the author explained that growing up she had never seen girl characters like Sanity and Tallulah in the books she read.
Two hundred parents, children, librarians, and teachers attended the public celebration, and received a free copy of Sanity & Tallulah to have autographed by the author. Attendees were invited to try a virtual reality experience with the RI Computer Museum, use a coloring robot with the RI Museum of Art and Science, and explore the night sky with Skyscrapers, Inc. Fifteen libraries and organizations also offered hands-on activities inspired by Sanity & Tallulah, and shared information about their summer programs for children and families.
High school actors from the Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing Arts, in partnership with The Gamm Theatre, performed a preview of the play they wrote based on Sanity & Tallulah. Their interpretation of the book’s space station and three-headed kitten elicited laughs from all ages. The full-length production will be performed at schools this spring.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of Kids Reading Across RI. Created in 2009, Kids Reading Across RI has held 10 kickoff events and distributed thousands of books to RI schools and libraries for summer book discussions aligned with the annual Summer Reading Program. Previous books include:
2010 Regarding the Fountain: A Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks by Kate Klise
2011 Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
2012 Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine
2013 Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
2014 Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
2015 Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo Event Pictures
2016 Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson Event Pictures
2017 Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan Event Pictures
2018 The First Rule of Punk by Celia C.Pérez Event Pictures
2019 Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks
As in past years, Rhode Island public libraries will be hosting summer programs featuring Sanity & Tallulah, using book sets supplied by the Office of Library and Information Services and the RI Center for the Book. Public schools also received book sets and students and teachers will discuss the book this spring.
Kids Reading Across Rhode Island is a project of the RI Office of Library and Information Services in partnership with the Rhode Island Center for the Book. Kids Reading Across RI 2019 is supported with major funding from Institute for Museum and Library Services, TD Bank, TD Charitable Foundation, the RI Council for the Humanities, the Rhode Island Foundation, School Librarians of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Library Association
Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island's One Book, One State community read program for kids, is kicking off its 10th year! This program, offered by the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services in partnership with the Rhode Island Center for the Book, encourages students across the state in grades 4 through 6 to read the same book, and engage in community discussions and programs. The 2019 selection is Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks.
Meet Molly Brooks, author of Sanity & Tallulah. Each family will receive a free copy of Sanity & Tallulah that they can have signed by the author. Enjoy activities with RI public libraries and organizations, music, art and more!
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Doors open 2:00 - 4:00 PM
RI State House
Free parking in the State of RI lots
Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn’t long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it’s too late?
Molly Brooks wrote and illustrated Sanity & Tallulah, and is the illustrator of Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared by Alison Wilgus, as well as many short comics. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Boston Globe, The Nashville Scene, BUST Magazine, ESPN social, Sports Illustrated online, and others. Molly lives and works in Brooklyn, where she spends her spare time watching vintage buddy-cop shows and documenting her cats. You can find her at mollybrooks.com.