Author Spotlight: Chris Baron
by Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
Join us as we welcome author Chris Baron for a discussion about his new book, The Magical Imperfect!
About this event
The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation will be hosting an online event with author, poet, and educator Chris Baron to discuss his book The Magical Imperfect, the story of deep family connections and finding empathy in the most difficult and unexpected places.
About the Book
It’s autumn 1989 in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Giants have a chance at the World Series, and small earthquakes are occurring with increasing frequency. After his mother is admitted to a hospital, 12-year-old Etan, a budding artist, largely stops speaking.
Since his father works construction all day, Etan spends afternoons with his Jewish grandfather, who immigrated from Prague in 1940; Etan watches him repair jewelry, listens to his musings on faith and the old days, and runs errands for the neighbors. One errand leads him to the home of Malia Agbayani, a solitary Filipina girl known cruelly among school children as “the creature” due to her acute eczema. Etan and Malia quickly bond; he admires her singing, she his artwork, and as their friendship deepens, they find solace and support—and, in the nearby forest, seek a magical cure for Malia’s skin.
Telling Etan’s story in first-person verse, Baron (All of Me) creates a close-knit community of adults and authentic intergenerational relationships, but it is Etan’s honest and lovable voice, and its growing strength, that carries this tender novel. An extensive author’s note discusses the earthquake of October 1989 and the history of Angel Island. Ages 9–12.
From the Author
"This story is full of personal connections. I grew up in the bay area, and clearly, I love writing about it (like in ALL OF ME), but I have always been drawn to stories of empathy, magic, healing, and hope because this is what I needed to get through difficult times in my own growing up. (and now :)) This is true for my wife as well who has dealt with a chronic skin condition her entire life. There is also a deep connection and exploration of family here—both on our Jewish side, and on my wife’s side of the family, who immigrated from the Philippines. Like so many stories, THE MAGICAL IMPERFECT is a fictional journey through the truth of who we are and who we hope to be."
- Chris Baron