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Blue Sky White Stars: Ames Author Sees the American Experience in the Design of the Flag

Sarvinder Naberhaus and Kadir Nelson
Kirkus Reviews

This conversation originally aired on June 28, 2017.

Children's author Sarvinder Naberhaus' family emigrated from India to Ames in 1965. In her new book, Blue Sky White Stars, Naberhaus juxtaposes the design of the American flag with what the country represents to her and many others chasing the American Dream.

She mentions the flag being present at Neil Armstrong's 1969 Moon Landing, the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, and she relates the top left corner of the flag to the deep blue sky dotted with white stars - a sky she says immigrants witnessed while boarding ships to the New World in search of religious freedom.

Naberhaus worked intently to create a book that wholly represents the American experience. She explains that she intends the book to be one of healing and unity for every American, regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation.

"A lot of people feel like it speaks on their behalf, and because of that, they are embracing the book," she says. "And I really do hope it is a book of healing for the nation; I hope it is a book of unity for the nation. I'm so glad you said it's not really a political book, because it is for all Americans. One of the phrases in there is 'All-American,' and I feel like this book is for every American, for the entire political spectrum, all the way from the Left, all the way to the Right, and everywhere in-between."

In this Talk of Iowa segment, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Naberhaus about her experience writing the book and about what she's working on currently.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa