Summer Brenner (Berkeley) collaborating with the West Contra Costa Unified School District (San Pablo) and Fiscal sponsor Community Works
Award: $40,000 Literary Arts Grant awarded in 2008
First edition published in 2009
Summer Brenner collaborated with the West Contra Costa Unified School District staff and students to create a novel that incorporates points of interest in Richmond, California, including local street names, local sites, and Richmond’s history. The 207-page book, Richmond Tales: Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle, was enthusiastically received by young readers and has been used in summer reading and adult literacy programs. A second edition was published by the District when it ran out of the first printing of 3,000 copies. In 2013, the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts produced a play based on the book.
Brenner reports that Richmond Tales is her first work of science fiction. The novel travels back and forth in time, incorporating both young people’s imagined future for the city and its past.
Summer Brenner is the author of many works of poetry and fiction, including Ivy: Tale of a Homeless Girl in San Francisco, a work of children’s literature. The West Contra Costa Unified School District encompasses 64 schools in Richmond, San Pablo, Pinole, Hercules, El Cerrito, and unincorporated western areas of the county: It serves more than 31,000 students