Gwendolyn Hooks



Gwendolyn Hooks is the author of over 20 books for young readers including Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas. Its numerous awards and honors include NAACP Image Award, Booklist starred review, Black Liberated Arts Center Ralph Ellison Literary Award, New York Public Library 100 Best Books for Kids, and Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice selection. Hooks and her husband live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Ms. Hooks’ appearance at the festival is made possible in part with funding from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.


12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Children’s Authors Tent 2
Book Talk
Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas

1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing


Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas

Vivien Thomas's greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream.

As Dr. Blalock s research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien s name did not appear in the report.

Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine children s heart surgery. Tiny Stitches is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine."


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