I know. National book launches are supposed to happen in major Canadian literary centres—Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon. Yes, that’s the way it normally happens. But not this time. My newest YA/teen novel, And Then the Sky Exploded was launched in the school gymnasium in Ponteix, Saskatchewan, population maybe five or six hundred. It happened because school Principal, Chad Striker, after setting up a week long school tour for me through southwestern Saskatchewan, discovered that the new book would be released the week prior to my tour (which was to start on October 24th in Ponteix). That’s when he suggested that we have the launch that evening at the school and we make it a community event with a beef on a bun supper followed by the signing and that the whole community (and neighbouring communities) be invited. And so the game was afoot. I didn’t know whether to expect six people or 60 because let’s face it—this was a first for me and I was pretty sure it was a first for Ponteix too.
Well, I underestimated what one small—but very cool--Saskatchewan town could do. The launch was not just a hugely successful literary event--it was one of the best "writer-days" of my life. Yes, we sold a whack of books but more importantly, I was overwhelmed by the friendship, the kindness and the generosity of the people of Ponteix and neighbouring communities. Chad’s tireless effort along with the hard work of the School Council and so many others in putting on the supper and launch/book signing made Monday, October 24th, 2016 something I won't ever forget. Ponteix, you will always have a special place in my heart.
My tour of schools through this wonderful part of Saskatchewan continued with stops in Val Marie, Cabri, Shaunavon and Frontier. So many terrific school administrators, teachers and kids. What a special start to the life of a book I’m really excited about.
A bit about the book… While attending the funeral of his great-grandfather, ninth-grader Christian Larkin learns that the man he loved and respected was a member of the Manhattan Project, the team that designed and created the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during the Second World War.
On a school trip to Japan, Chris meets eighty-one-year-old Yuko, who was eleven when the first bomb exploded over Hiroshima, horribly injuring her. Christian is determined to do something to make up for what his great-grandfather did. But after all this time, what can one teenager really do? His friends tell him it’s a stupid idea, that there’s nothing he can do. And maybe they’re right.
But maybe, just maybe … they’re wrong.
Author: David A. Poulsen
Publisher: Dundurn Toronto
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-45973-637-5 (pbk.) - ISBN 978-1-45973-638-2 (pdf) - ISBN 978-1-45973-639-9(epub)
And Then The Sky Exploded
* This memorable addition to Hiroshima literature should resonate with readers.
Poulsen’s latest is a great read.
(Quill & Quire)
A compelling story with strong characters whom the reader will find believable as well as likeable.