The Moon Over Star

“The Moon over Star” is a book about a little girl named Mae, watching the moon landing on television with her family on July 20 in 1969. She hopes that, one day, she will also go there.

This year’s Dogwood Children’s Literacy & Arts Festival will honor and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

“The United Way of East Central Texas is so excited to partner with the Palestine Public Library for the 2019 Dogwood Children’s Literacy & Arts Festival,” said Tarah Thompson, director of the United Way of East Central Texas.

”For the first time, this year's Literacy Festival will have three published authors: Dianna Huts Ashton, author of “The Moon over Star;” Kat Kronenberg, author of “Dream Big;” and Claudia Villarreal, author of “The Bully who learned to Love.”

Ashton will be the featured author for this year's dinner event, “Dinner with Dianna,” at the Palestine Public Library.

“The Moon over Star” is a book about a little girl named Mae, watching the moon landing on television with her family on July 20 in 1969. She hopes that, one day, she will also go there.

“How exciting that this will be our highlighted book on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing,” Thompson said. “We hope each child leaves the festival with a love of literacy, and are inspired to shoot for the moon.”

The Moon over Star is a Coretta Scott King awarded book, as well as 2009’s Bank Street’s Best Books of the Year, and The Great Lakes Great Books Award nominee in 2011.

This book was chosen by Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama to read to children in 2009 at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington D.C.

In 2011, astronaut Leland Melvin read “The Moon over Star” to children at Ferebee-Hope Community School in Washington D.C. for a partnership with “Reading is Fundamental,” and Black History Month.

Thompson noted that all three of the authors will be at the festival doing dramatic readings of their own books. “These three authors will be available for autographs in the “To the Moon” bus from Austin, a renovated and redesigned school bus.

This year’s Learning Festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 20 at the Palestine Public Library.

Tickets to “Dinner with Dianna” are $15 and on sale at The Palestine Public Library, as well as Commercial Bank of Texas.

The author dinner will take place at 6:30 p.m. on July 19. Attendees will have dinner with the author, listen to a live reading, and have a Q&A with her, all before leaving with an autographed copy of her book.

Dinner will take place at the Palestine Public Library.

“I am so excited for this year’s event and look forward to seeing all the children enjoying the festival and vendors and going home with a free book,” said Thompson.

“The base of education begins with literacy. We want to see the kids in our community passionate about reading, about learning, about growing.”

The United Way thanks the Palestine Public Library, the City of Palestine, Palestine Regional Medical Center, Commercial Bank of Texas, and Palestine Heat & Air for helping make this even successful.

Vendors may still sign up for this event by contacting Thompson at the United Way office, 903-727-8798.

Sponsorships are available and appreciated. Contact the office to sign up.