Society / Featured Parties

The World’s Largest Book Is a Texas Thing Thanks to Student Authors and Artists — Check Out the 7-Foot Tall Tome

I Am Texas Leaves a Big Impression

BY // 11.16.22
photography Dave Rossman

What: The Phillips 66 I Am Texas book signing, art auction & gala

Where: The Hilton Americas-Houston

PC Moment: After Guinness World Record judge Michael Empric officially deemed the 7-foot tall I Am Texas as the largest published book in the world — hubba hubba — the young authors, artists and patrons of the Bryan Museum in Galveston began a mega celebration. It was the museum’s education institute in partnership with The New York Times‘ bestselling Ordinary People Change the World;  iWRITE, a nonprofit that publishes the works of youngsters; and New York Times illustrator  Christopher Eliopoulos that launched the project.

The groundbreaking book captures what the Lone Star State means to 1,000 contributing young Texans in grades third to 12th from more than 80 school districts.

On this evening, more than 400 of the student authors took to the red carpet for photos with the massive tome and  autographs for family, friends and museum patrons, an audience of 880. They received medals and copies of the book in a more user-friendly size, autographed by Eliopoulos, who provided the cover illustration. Students creating artwork, on the block in the auction, were each rewarded with 50 percent of the highest bid made on each their work.

From left Carl and Katherine Evans with J.P. Bryan at the iWrite Gala at the Hilton Americas Hotel Saturday Nov. 05,2022. (Dave Rossman photo) (Photo by Dave Rossman)
Carl & Katherine Evans, J.P. Bryan at the iWrite Gala at the Hilton Americas Hotel. (Photo by Dave Rossman)

Joining the program with emcee Great Day Houston‘s Deborah Duncan was The New York Times‘ Times for Kids reporter Shaivi Moparthi who revealed that the mammoth book will make a statewide tour with its launch in Houston’s H-E-B Thanksgiving Day parade. Duncan announced that the iWRITE award winners selected by a team of judges from the Texas Center at Schreiner University had won college scholarships to Kerville school.

As part of the program Melissa Williams Murphy, founder of iWRITE and executive director of The Bryan Museum, along with museum founder J.P. Bryan dedicated I Am Texas to the Uvalde community and the students, families and faculty of Robb Elementary. Lead counselor at Uvalde High School Kelly Hilton joined the stage along with several Uvalde community members to accept the first copy of the book.

PC Seen: Mary Jon Bryan, Joe Jaworski, Elaine Balagia-Croucher, Jeff Brown, Josephine and Ibraham Firat, Donald and Susan Frazier, Lisa Helfman, Kelly Hilthon, Ken Wise, Alexander and Muffy McLanahan, Matt and Melissa Murphy, Alicia Smith, Dancie and Jim Ware, Romy Mankarious, and Rania Mankarious.

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