Skip to Main Content

The Leavers

A guide to the 2018 Common Read book, "The Leavers" by Lisa Ko


Author Lisa Ko to Speak at Cal Maritime, October 2, 2018 11:00


Check out a copy from the Library!

From the publisher:

One morning, Deming Guo’s mother Polly goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. Left with no one to care for him, eleven-year-old Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

A vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging,The Leavers is the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away—and how one woman learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

The Leavers was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction and the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Award for Socially Engaged Fiction.

How was this book selected?

Common Reading Selection Committee, 2017-18

Michele Van Hoeck, Co-Chair, Dean of Library

Aparna Sinha, Co-Chair, Culture & Communication

Julie Chisholm, Culture & Communication

Margot Hanson, Library

Mike Holden, Mechanical Engineering

Elaine Kociolek, Student Engagement & Academic Support

Alex Parker, Science & Math

Amy Parsons, Culture & Communication

Martin Shimada, student

Marissa Sutro, Marine Transportation

More about the Common Reading Program objectives, selection criteria, and finalists

About the Book

About the Author

If you experience accessibility barriers using this website, please contact 707-654-1090 or . You will receive a reply within two business days. The library is committed to remediate accessibility barriers within this website and will provide accommodations until the barriers are remediated.