Sarah and the Big Wave Book Cover

*Please Note: Pre-registration via Eventbrite is required. Zoom information will be sent leading up to the event date.*

Plus! Bonnie will be signing all copies of Sarah and the Big Wave sold for this event.

Books Inc. proudly presents Bonnie Tsui and Sophie Diao the local author and illustrator duo behind the new picture book biography, Sarah and the Big Wave: The True Story of the First Woman to Surf MavericksWhat could make this event even more special? Bonnie and Sophie will be joined by the book's namesake, Sarah Gerhardt(Ages 4+)


Have you ever seen a big wave? One that's twenty, thirty, forty, even fifty feet tall? Here's a better question: Would you ever surf a big wave? Sarah Gerhardt did--and this is her story.

This tale of perseverance and indomitable spirit is about the first woman to ride the waves at Mavericks, one of the biggest and most dangerous surf breaks in the world.

Bonnie Tsui is a debut children's author and a writer for The New York Times. Her books for grown-ups include Why We Swim and the award-winning American Chinatown. She lives in the Bay Area.

Sophie Diao is an artist in San Francisco. As research for the book Sarah and the Big Wave, she surfed a wave that she's pretty sure was over one foot tall. She loves illustrating natural wonders and is the talent behind many a Google Doodle.


Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks (05/01/2021): Sarah Gerhardt began surfing in Hawaii, where eventually she found her crew, a right-sized board, and Mike, whom she married. When they moved to California, Sarah also defined a specific goal-to ride one of the huge waves (fifty feet was not exceptional) that rolled over the break at Mavericks-and on a "cold afternoon in February" she became the first woman to catch her wave and make the "hair-raising ride down its face." Tsui is less than forthcoming with details; even the date of the main event is buried in an appended timeline, the sole offering of end matter. Apart from some remarks on the height of waves and the danger of Mavericks, the highlight here is Diao's foldout digital illustration of Sarah's ride, which is a sure bet to elate the storytime crowd. Kids who want the skinny on adventurous women may want to know basic information about her surfing career (no career; she never went pro) and what she's doing now (teaching college level chemistry), but they'll need to be guided elsewhere for that. Still, a determined young woman seizing the moment in vast, teal-blue ocean is a natural draw, and with the IOC adding surfing to its roster of events, librarians can expect extra interest when the next Olympic games are played. EB

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
Virtual Event via Zoom
Pacific Standard Time
San Francisco, CA

One of Books Inc.’s favorite aspects of being booksellers is getting the chance to welcome and host hundreds of authors a year, from house-hold names to local, debut authors and we are so excited to begin reintroducing the Bay Area with “The Experience You Can’t Download” in our stores with traditional author talks and booksignings. In addition to meet-and-greet author events and standard author talks, we are also continuting virtual author events.

Sales equate success, and as with in-store events, booksales made from an independent bookstore benefit the author, publisher, and lead to future event bookings. Please help us keep the Bay Area the wonderful literary hub that it is by supporting your local Books Inc.