An independent day school for grades 6-12

Award-Winning Author Thi Bui Visits Crystal

The award-winning author Thi Bui visited Crystal's Upper and Middle School campuses in early March to talk about her graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do, and to work with students in telling their own stories. Her book, which centers on her family's compelling story of immigrating to and setting up a life in the United States...

...is the first graphic novel chosen by the San Francisco Public Library for its "One City, One Book" program in 2018.  The critically-acclaimed work has been called "a book to break your heart and heal it,” combining Bui's personal history with political and historical narratives surrounding her family's anguished flight from war-torn Vietnam and their lives as immigrants in America.  

She spoke to students about the nuances of creating artwork that seamlessly uses both traditional media, such as watercolor and drawing, together with digital tools, to bring her story to life. She broke down the process of creating a unique font for the text of her novel in collaboration with a graphic designer who used computer algorithms combined with her hand-drawn letters, which incorporated Vietnamese diacritical marks, to make a custom font.  The process was a true meeting of technology and art.

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Crystal Springs Uplands School


General: (650) 342-4175 | info@csus.org
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Middle School
10 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
(650) 645-1000
Upper School
400 Uplands Drive
Hillsborough, CA 94010
(650) 342-4175