- Age Range: 6 - 9 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 4
- Lexile Measure: 0700 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 24 pages
- Publisher: Triangle Square (November 10, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1609807006
- ISBN-13: 978-1609807009
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Night in the Planetarium Hardcover – November 10, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Nagara recounts what happened the night he and his mother stayed in a planetarium after a performance by his father's acting troupe. Nagara's father was an actor, playwright, and activist who often used his art as a means of peaceful protest against the oppressive government of Indonesia. Anticipating a clash with authorities after a final performance, his father escaped with the departing audience while Nagara and his mother hid out for the night in the planetarium, under the stars, so to speak. Nagara does provide some brief historical background of Indonesia: its colonization by the Dutch, its eventual independence, and the rise of a military-run government. The narrative is intimate and occasionally casual, which softens the impact of some of the scarier moments of the story but still engages readers and manages to explain colonization to young listeners. The pacing feels uneven at times, but overall this is a solid read. Collage and mixed-media illustrations are full of vibrant colors and lush detail. A brief epilogue gives further information about Nagara's father and his work. VERDICT A strong choice for larger collections looking to grow their international biography sections.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
"It’s a stirring tribute to the power of the arts to challenge injustice, recounted with the confidence of a practiced storyteller."
"My Night in the Planetarium is a sweet, smart tribute to the author's father, to the radical power of art, and to the rich history of Indonesia. With gorgeous illustrations and an engaging narrative, this is art and resistance as seen through a child's eyes, and told by a fantastic storyteller."
Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide
"I loved this story so much, my God it is just like the reality we are living in, just like a mirror, it inspires and guides us to do what we need to do. This story makes us want to cry and scream out: it is enough, let us be brave and stop lying to ourselves, face the reality! It is a story that gives us hope and tells us not to hesitate and it teaches our children to always follow the truth even if it is sometimes difficult.”
Artistic Director at The Freedom Theater in Jenin refugee camp, Palestine
"Innosanto Nagara's beautifully illustrated My Night in the Planetarium is a delightful narrative about Indonesia: the fourth largest country, which we should all know more about. Told from the point of view of himself as a young boy, the story encourages children to be curious, engaged and courageous. What a wonderful lesson about history and people power, written and illustrated with great charm and wit."
Co-founder, Global Exchange and Code Pink
"Can children be fascinated by dictatorship, persecution, the struggle against silence in a country very few people have heard about? This enchanting book proves that this sort of story, treated with delicacy and humor can – and should – reach a wide audience."
Playwright, novelist, and human rights activist. Author of Death and the Maiden, and many other works.
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My Night in the Planetarium by Innosanto Nagara (Seven Stories Press)
The Indonesian-born graphic designer, Innosanto Nagara, shares “a true story about a child, a play, and the act of resistance” in his award-winning autobiographical picture book. Starting with a lightly humorous overview of Indonesian history, through colonization by the Dutch, he leads up to 1977, a pivotal moment in his life, during the brutal rule of President Suharto. Nagara’s stunning illustrations depict a play performed in traditional Indonesian dance costumes created and performed by his father in which an unspecified army general is criticized. Police are sent to arrest his father and Innosanto and his mother flee from the production and hide in an adjacent planetarium. What could be a terrifying experience for a child becomes a night filled with the security of strong parental love and the magic of the stars. Nagara’s newest work, along with his earlier books, show the heroic potential of ordinary people and the power of art to challenge injustice.