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Oct. 21: Famous author to visit Hood

FREDERICK, Md.—The author of a book that inspired a major motion picture about four teenage illegal immigrants whose machine won a NASA- and U.S. Navy-sponsored underwater robotics contest by defeating a reigning champion MIT team will give a talk at Hood College Oct. 21.

Joshua Davis will discuss his book “Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream” at 6 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall as part of the College’s first-year read program. A question and answer session will follow the talk along with a book signing.

The talk is free and open to the public. Funding for the first-year read program is made possible by the Hanson Lecture Series through the Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

Davis’ book recounts the true story of four undocumented Latino teenagers living in an impoverished neighborhood in Phoenix, Ariz. With little more than scavenged parts, these high school students built the winning entry in a 2004 national underwater robotics contest against stiff competition from elite college teams. Davis documents the almost impossible struggle for the students to move beyond their undocumented status under national and local immigration laws—even given their win in that competition.

Davis is a contributing editor to Wired Magazine and a co-founder of Epic Magazine. He has had work published in magazines including The New Yorker, GQ and Men’s Health. He was also a finalist for the 2014 National Magazine Award in feature writing. “Spare Parts” is his third book, and the film version was released by Lionsgate in June.

For more information, contact Martha Bari at or 301-717-9554.