• Kid Quixotes

    by Stephen Haff, Sarah Sierra
    Price $27.99
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    Kid Quixotes

Virtual Event: Stephen Haff


Kid Quixotes:
A Group of Students, Their Teacher, and the One-Room School Where Everything Is Possible

in conversation with JAMES WOOD


May 20, 2020
7:00 PM ET


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes STEPHEN HAFF—writer and founder of the afterschool literacy program Still Waters in a Storm—for a discussion of his book, Kid Quixotes: A Group of Students, Their Teacher, and the One-Room School Where Everything Is Possible. He will be joined in conversation by celebrated critic and author JAMES WOOD.

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About Kid Quixotes

Still Waters in a Storm is an after-school program held in a small room in Bushwick, Brooklyn; it is a place for kids to practice reading and writing in English, Spanish, and Latin. For the students, many living in constant fear of deportation, Still Waters is a refuge. For Stephen Haff, a former public-school teacher, it is the sanctuary he built following a breakdown caused by bipolar depression. At Still Waters, all agreed that there would only be one rule: “Everyone listens to everyone.” And this has unlocked spectacular potential.

Since 2016, the students have been collectively translating Don Quixote into English, taking the Spanish tale—a story about a dreamer who never gives up—and adapting it into a bilingual musical. Six-year old Sarah tells of her mother’s journey across the desert from Mexico riding on the back of a tiger. Alex, a very private teenager, sings her coming out song to standing ovations. As the kids perform their work across NYC, they learn that they belong in this country—their voices amplifying to deliver a message of diversity, love, hope, and resilience essential to us all.

Praise for Kid Quixotes

“In my years of experience as a writer and as a college professor, I have never seen anything like this: the love for language, the passion for discussion, clarity of mind, and humility of heart. Stephen Haff invents impossible projects and makes them possible.” —Valeria Luiselli, author of Lost Children Archive

“Cervantes would be proud that his 400-year-old novel is helping these extraordinary schoolkids and their impressive teacher make sense of their lives; face their fears; and tell their stories with courage, imagination, and song.” —Salman Rushdie, New York Times bestselling author of Quichotte

“Haff paints a picture of what education in America could and perhaps should be. His story is passionately honest, profoundly open-minded, and suffused with optimism, and his writing is crisp and clear and persuasive.” —Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

James Wood
James Wood

James Wood

James Wood is a staff writer at The New Yorker and Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism at Harvard University. He is the author of How Fiction Works, as well as the essay collections, Serious Noticing, The Broken Estate and The Irresponsible Self, and the novels, The Book Against God and Upstate.

Stephen Haff
Stephen Haff

Stephen Haff

Stephen Haff is the founder of Still Waters in a Storm, an afterschool program serving Spanish-speaking immigrant children in Brooklyn. Previously, he taught English at a public school in Bushwick for nearly a decade. He earned his MFA in Theater at Yale, and has directed plays and taught theater in New York, Vermont and Canada. He currently lives in Queens with his wife and three children.

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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