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Eighth Annual Gift of Literacy

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Guest Speaker: Ann Packer


Newport/Mesa ProLiteracy invites you to celebrate the "Gift of Literacy" at this very special annual event. This year, our annual fundraising luncheon will feature bestselling author Ann Packer.

Ms. Packer is the bestselling auther of two novels, Songs Without Words and The Dive from Clausen's Pier, and two collections of short fiction, Mendocino and Other Stories and Swim Back to Me.

Ann Packer will be promoting her new novel, The Children's Crusade. Each attendee will receive a first edition hardback copy of the book with their ticket purchase.

The Literacy Program is very excited to have this acclaimed writer as guest speaker and hopes you will join the special event. There will be a silent auction, opportunity drawings, and Ms. Packer will be signing copies of her book.

We expect this event to be SOLD OUT, so be sure to get your tickets early.

For more information contact: (949) 717-3874 or literacy@newportbeachca.gov.

If you are unable to attend the luncheon, you can still support literacy by making a donation or becoming sponsor for the event. Click here.

Date: May 1, 2015 (Ticket sales close on April 27)
Time: 11:30am (doors open at 11:00am)
Venue: The Pacific Club (4110 MacArthur Boulevard, Newport Beach)
Price: $85 per person (includes a first-edition hardback copy of The Children's Crusade)
Tickets: Purchase Online**

**We also accept cash or checks (payable to "Newport/Mesa ProLiteracy"). You can stop by our office during our regular business hours (M-Th 9:00am-5:00pm / F 9:00am-1:00pm) at the Newport Beach Public Library central branch at 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach 92660.

Book Critic Reviews of "The Children's Crusade"

"A tour de force family drama. Ann Packer ups her game with The Children's Crusade. [She] brilliantly constructs...narratives with both appealing lightness and an arresting gravitas. [Her] golden touch makes us care that much more deeply for this memorable tribe." (Lisa Shea, Elle)

“Packer is an expert at complicated relationships… Beautifully precise… When you read Packer, you'll know you're in the hands of a writer who knows what she's doing. A marvelously absorbing novel.” (Kirkus)

“In The Children’s Crusade, Ann Packer flawlessly executes the most daring, difficult and exhilarating feat in the novelist's repertoire: to re-create the history of an era and a place through the history of one family, finding intimacy in the sweep of time and import in the nuance of everyday life, pulling it off with mastery, authority and all the passionate artistry that lovers of her work have come to expect.” (Michael Chabon, author of Telegraph Avenue)

“Do our childhood experiences determine our destinies? In shimmering prose and with exceptional wisdom, Ann Packer examines the life of a California family, laying bare the relationships between brother and sister, parent and child, while at the same time revealing the ways in which the past casts both shadow and light on the present. The Children’s Crusade is a provocative, dazzling novel from a world-class fiction writer.” (Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train)

“Well-crafted… Packer is an accomplished storyteller whose characters are as real as you might find aroundyour dinner table. Readers will be taken with this vibrant novel.” (Publisher's Weekly)

“An artful portrait of a California family.” (Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair)

"A flawless, compassionate portrayal... literary fiction at its finest." (Donna Bettencourt, Library Journal)




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1000 Avocado Ave. Newport Beach, CA 92660 • (949) 717-3800