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Earth Defenders Initiative presents PARADISE ON FIRE with Jewell Parker Rhodes

Join us for a discussion with bestselling author Jewell Parker Rhodes for her coming-of-age survival tale Paradise on Fire, an exploration of race, class, and climate change, in collaboration with Word Up Community Bookshop’s after-school program the Earth Defenders, which features Paradise on Fire this season! Rhodes will be in conversation with Earth Defenders facilitator Renzo Moyano.

This event is a $5 suggested donation ticket. Please register in advance.


Addy is haunted by the tragic fire that killed her parents, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Years later, Addy’s grandmother has enrolled her in a summer wilderness program. There, Addy joins five other Black city kids—each with their own troubles—to spend a summer out west.

Deep in the forest the kids learn new (and to them) strange skills: camping, hiking, rock climbing, and how to start and safely put out campfires. Most important, they learn to depend upon each other for companionship and survival. 

But then comes a devastating forest fire…

Addy is face-to-face with her destiny and haunting past. Developing her courage and resiliency against the raging fire, it’s up to Addy to lead her friends to safety. Not all are saved. But remembering her origins and grandmother’s teachings, she’s able to use street smarts, wilderness skills, and her spiritual intuition to survive.


Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is an award-winning and bestselling author and educator for both youth and adults. She is the author of seven books for children including the New York Times bestsellers Black Brother, Black Brother and Ghost Boys which has won over 30 honors and awards. Her other books include Paradise on Fire, Towers Falling, the celebrated Louisiana Girls Trilogy: Ninth Ward, Sugar, and Bayou Magic. The driving force behind all of her work is to inspire social justice, equity, and environmental stewardship. Rhodes is the Founding Artistic Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Narrative Studies Professor and Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair at Arizona State University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Carnegie-Mellon University. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Seattle.

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The event is finished.


May 13 2022


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

More Info

Event Link


Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10032
Word Up Community Bookshop / Librería Comunitaria


Word Up Community Bookshop / Librería Comunitaria
(347) 688-4456

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