Pennington Library’s “Big Read” to celebrate our many cultures

Featured author Thi Bui

Pennington Public Library is excited to be presenting another NEA Big Read, this time featuring the graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui. The book explores one family’s daring escape from Vietnam and all of the library’s programming over the next six weeks will celebrate the experiences of immigrants from around the world. The library has free copies of the book available to read and pass along.

Programming begins at 3pm this Saturday, February 26, when New Jerseyan Uyen Khuong will share, via Zoom, her own family’s harrowing story as “boat people” from Vietnam who sought refuge in the US. On Sunday, February 27, from 1 to 4pm, everyone from age 8 and up is invited to a workshop at Hopewell Valley Central High School to make their own comic or zine.

An exciting recent addition to the programming is a presentation from the author herself. Thi Bui will speak via Zoom on Tuesday, April 5, at 6:30pm. Her appearance is in partnership with the Hopewell Valley Regional School District and the Miami Book Fair.

Other programming this month includes an Immigration Film Series, beginning with “The Visitor,” presented for free at the Hopewell Theater on March 3 in partnership with the Hopewell Public Library. 

See the full schedule online at and don’t miss the history of the graphic novel, making and displaying paper lanterns, writing one’s own memoir, an exploration of storytelling, and a culinary demonstration of Vietnamese cuisine streaming live from Vietnam. The Hopewell Historical Society and Hopewell Museum also will present a panel that will explore immigrant experiences. Book discussions will be held throughout the spring about the featured book, as well as selected companion titles.

Programming will culminate on Sunday, April 10, with a Cultural Fair to which the whole community is invited. The Fair will celebrate the stories, cultures, art, and artifacts of our diverse backgrounds.  All community members are encouraged to register in advance to display, perform, or share, or to simply meet and mingle with neighbors while enjoying the exhibits.

Be a part of the story! Registration and the complete schedule of events is available at

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