On Friday, March 24, Edison High School (EHS) hosted the 10th annual Huntington Beach Union High School District (HBUHSD) HBReads Assembly featuring New York Times bestselling author, Jamie Ford.

HBReads, short for Huntington Beach Reads One Book, is a nonprofit organization with one mission: bring the students and families of Huntington Beach together to read one book in order to achieve a community-wide experience.

Each year, HBReads assembles a selection committee to choose a book that meets the criteria of 300 pages or less, appropriate for ages 15+, and ties in some form of diversity.  At the start of each new year, the nonprofit graciously distributes copies of the selected book to HBUHSD school sites for students and staff to enjoy.

For 2017, HBReads selected Ford’s bestselling historical fiction, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  Published in 2009, this novel follows the love and friendship of a Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl during the internment in World War II.

On that day, students from around the district gathered for the opportunity to hear Ford explain the inspiration behind his book and answer audience questions.

Jason Ross, EHS Assistant Principal, has played an integral role in the district’s continued partnership with HBReads.  “Our students have been exposed to incredible authors who have helped expand their worldview and appreciation for other cultures and peoples,” said Ross.

Following the assembly, Ford took the time to autograph books and pose for selfies with students.  Students expressed their gratitude for his story, his time, and for the longtime support of HBReads.