Crossing Borders and Opening Minds


Education Building, Room 351
1430 E 2nd Street
85719 Tucson , AZ


Sun, 03/11/2018 - 10:00am to Mon, 12/05/2022 - 2:34pm


Four authors talk about the real and imagined borders that their characters must cross and how these experiences open their minds to new perspectives and understandings of self and world. Steven Frank's Armstrong and Charlie face the racial borders of school integration, while Jewell Parker Rhodes's characters deal with historical racism in Ghost Boys. N.H. Senzai in "Escape from Aleppo" focuses on borders that reflect an escape from the horrors of war and the flight to safety. Ibtisam Barakat shares the oppressive borders she faced growing up in Palestine. This panel is a part of the Tucson Festival of Books. 


Ibtisam Barakat, is an award-winning Palestinian-American author, poet, translator, artist and educator. Her work centers on healing social injustices, especially in the lives of young people. Barakat was born in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, and grew up in Ramallah, Palestine. She came to the US for an internship at the Nation magazine in New York City. She holds two master's degrees and has taught language ethics at Stephens College and is the founder of Write Your Life seminars. She is an international speaker and publishes in both English and Arabic. Her books include the critically acclaimed international memoir: Tasting the Sky, a Palestinian Childhood, and her newest book Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine.


Steven B. Frank is the author of "Armstrong & Charlie" and "Class Action." His previous book, "The Pen Commandments: A Guide for the Beginning Writer," won the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age Award. Frank also teaches 6thgrade English at Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles, where he likes to punish rambunctious kids with fun writing topics.


N.H. Senzai is the author of the award-winning novel, "Shooting Kabul," chosen by the Asian Pacific Librarians Association as their Young Adult Literature winner and an NPR’s Backseat Book Club pick, along with Edgar Award nominee "Saving Kabul Corner" and YALSA pick "Ticket To India." She spent her childhood in San Francisco, Jubail, Saudi Arabia and attended high school in London, England where she was voted most likely to read a literary revolution, due to her ability to get away with reading comic books in class. Her latest novel is "Escape From Aleppo," about a girl fleeing Syria at the advent of the Arab Spring.


Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of "Towers Falling," "Ninth Ward," "Sugar" and "Bayou Magic." Her middle-grade books have won the Coretta Scott King Honor, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and more. She is also the Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Arizona State University, and has written many award-winning books for adults.


Co-sponsored by Worlds of Words