Sunday 27 November 2022
Book Club: Children’s Book (ages 10–12) | See You in the Cosmos. Angeliki Darlasi is a writer of prose and theatrical plays, while she has also engaged with television and cinema. Among her awarded works are: The Boy in the Royal Box, Badboy, When We Hid an Angel, and Dream Guardians.
The read for this month is Jack Cheng’s See You in the Cosmos.
On Sunday 27/11, our young readers will meet to share impressions, feelings and thoughts, as well as to embark on an imaginary journey, sparked by the book of the month, into the fascinating worlds emerging from its pages.
Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski is determined not only to communicate with alien forms of intelligent life, but also to inform them about life on earth. Which is why he records sounds and descriptions of his everyday life on a daily basis, on his gold-painted iPod. He wants to launch his iPod into space with a rocket he has made himself, so that aliens can listen to these podcasts. Which is why he is so keen on going to SHARF, the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival, which will take place in the desert. Since his mother is sick, his father dead and his older brother far away, Alex sets off on his trip alone with his dog, Carl Sagan—named for his beloved astronomer. Along the way, however, he will meet other people, distinct and funny characters, and his destination will constantly change. Alex will seem to change as well, as new questions will constantly arise in his head, not only about the cosmos but also about himself.
So, let's read this book together, reflect on and discuss issues relating to travel, the cosmos, our relations with others. How much do others influence us, and how much do we influence them? Can we actually find inspiration, love and courage in the cosmos? And if so, which cosmos would that be?
Jack Cheng was born in Shanghai in 1983, but his family moved to Michigan, USA, when he was five years old, so he grew up there. After failing to study Economics at the University of Michigan, he moved to New York where he attended courses in communication and advertising. There, he worked for about ten years in the field of technology and advertising. In 2013, he published his first book for adults, with the method of crowdfunding. At around that time, while in his brother’s room looking at a poster of the iconic photograph of Earth taken in February 1990 from Voyager 1, Jack came up with the idea for his book See You in the Cosmos. Other sources of inspiration included ambient sounds and a road trip he took in 2013. See You in the Cosmos is his first book for children. Published in the USA in 2017, it earned considerable praise and several awards.
A writer of literature for children and young adults, playwright and teacher of creative writing and theater.
Works and books of hers have been translated into English, Turkish, Korean, Spanish, and French. Her books have been adapted for theater (most recently, The Boy in the Royal Box, by the National Theater of Greece, 2021-2022) and puppetry performances, while some are in the pre-production stage to be adapted into films (on screenplays by the author herself), in Greece and abroad.
She has participated as co-author in productions of the State Theaters of Karlsruhe and Uppsala and the National Theater of Luxembourg (2021 & 2022), and the Union des Théâtres del'Europe (2018). Several plays of hers have been staged in Athens: Lighthouse–SNFCC, Athens Concert Hall, Art Theatre Readers’ Theatre Festival, Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People, Alkmini Theater, Amore Theater–stage B, et al. She has been repeatedly awarded and distinguished for her work (both prose and theatre).
Since 2006, she has been teaching Creative Writing and/or Theater to adults and children-teenagers, working with both public and private organizations (e.g. The Department of Theatre Studies of the University of Peloponnese, public and private post-secondary vocational schools, Metaichmio Publications, etc.). She is a motivational speaker and facilitator of activities for children and adolescents (creative writing, theater, arts and education, love of reading, etc.).
She holds degrees from the Athens University Department of Theatre Studies and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA in Performance Studies).
Activities for children before the Book Club meeting
A few things that you may want to think and take notes about before our meeting, so we can share and discuss them when we meet:
17.30 - 19.00
NLG KIDS LAB
Up to 22 participants | For children aged 10 to 12
Free admission with online pre-registration
Pre-registration starts on 01/11, at 12.00
To participate in the Reading Club, it is necessary for those who hold a position to have read the book of the month. (It is also useful to have it with them).
Jack Cheng’s book “See You in the Cosmos” is available in Greek by Metaichmio Publications.
Children should always be accompanied by parents or adult attendants who should not be away from the outdoor activity.
As part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center's collaboration with the National Library of Greece, the book for the Reading Club has been chosen by NLG staff members.