EventsTacoma Reads: Author David Ambroz in Conversation with Mayor Woodards

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Tacoma Reads: Author David Ambroz in Conversation with Mayor Woodards

3:00 PM – 5:30 PM
William W. Philip Hall


Saturday, Nov. 4  

Doors at 2:30 p.m., event at 3 p.m.

UW Tacoma - William W. Philip Hall

1918 S. C St.

Order of program:

  • Introductions from UW Tacoma Library, Verizon, and Tacoma Public Library 
  • David Ambroz and Mayor Woodards in conversation
  • Audience Q&A with David Ambroz
  • Book signing 

Tacoma Reads 2023 invites the community to explore the theme of Home: Housing Insecurity in our Community through reading common titles and attending themed events for all ages.

Join Tacoma Public Library and host City of Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards for a conversation with child welfare advocate and author David Ambroz. Ambroz’s book, A Place Called Home: A Memoir was chosen as the main Tacoma Reads title.

About the book:

There are millions of homeless children in America today and in A Place Called Home, award-winning child welfare advocate David Ambroz writes about growing up homeless in New York for eleven years and his subsequent years in foster care, offering a window into what so many kids living in poverty experience every day.

When David and his siblings should be in elementary school, they are instead walking the streets seeking shelter while their mother is battling mental illness. They rest in train stations, 24-hour diners, anywhere that’s warm and dry; they bathe in public restrooms and steal food to quell their hunger. When David is placed in foster care, at first it feels like salvation but soon proves to be just as unsafe. He’s moved from home to home and, in all but one placement, he’s abused. His burgeoning homosexuality makes him an easy target for other’s cruelty.

David finds hope and opportunities in libraries, schools, and the occasional kind-hearted adult; he harnesses an inner grit to escape the all-too-familiar outcome for a kid like him. Through hard work and unwavering resolve, he is able to get a scholarship to Vassar College, his first significant step out of poverty. He later graduates from UCLA Law with a vision of using his degree to change the laws that affect children in poverty.

Told with lyricism and sparkling with warmth, A Place Called Home depicts childhood poverty and homelessness as it is experienced by so many young people who have been systematically overlooked and unprotected. It’s at once a gripping personal account of deprivation—how one boy survived it, and ultimately thrived—and a resounding call for readers to move from empathy to action.

Tacoma Reads is a city-wide reading program that seeks to unite the community in dialogue around contemporary themes through reading selected books and attending engaging programs. A longstanding partnership between the City of Tacoma’s Mayor’s Office and the Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma Reads is made possible through wide community support and collaboration.

Sponsors: University of Washington Tacoma Library, Verizon

Media sponsor: KNKX

Bookseller partners: King's Books, Parable

Tacoma Reads
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