The 2007 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Mrs. Laura Bush, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th streets (rain or shine). The festival is free and open to the public.
“This will be the seventh year of this extraordinary celebration of the joy of reading and the creativity of America’s writers and illustrators,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The National Book Festival brings authors and readers together to share the stories that touch their minds and hearts. Tens of thousands of book lovers see firsthand how reading changes lives and how our country, its citizens and its libraries promote reading in imaginative and inspiring ways.”
“The National Book Festival welcomes all Americans to the National Mall to celebrate reading and meet with some of America’s most-loved authors from across the country,” said Mrs. Bush. “Readers of all ages can discover the joys of new books and fall in love again with old favorites.”
The 2007 National Book Festival is made possible with generous support from Distinguished Benefactor Target; Charter Sponsors AT&T, The Amend Group and The Washington Post; Patrons AARP, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the James Madison Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; and Contributors Barnes & Noble, the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, Marshall and Dee Ann Payne, NBA/WNBA, PBS, Penguin Group (USA) and Scholastic Inc.
This year about 70 well-known authors, illustrators and poets will talk about their books in the following pavilions: Children; Teens & Children; Fiction & Fantasy; Mysteries & Thrillers; History & Biography; Home & Family; and Poetry. Festival goers can have books signed by their favorite authors, and children can meet ever-popular storybook and television characters and NBA/WNBA players appearing on the festival grounds throughout the day.
Authors and illustrators of books for children and teens include Coretta Scott King award winner Ashley Bryan; Newbery Medal winners Patricia MacLachlan and E.L. Konigsburg; 2007 Caldecott winner David Wiesner; M.T. Anderson, winner of the 2006 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature; Gene Luen Yang, who received the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults; and Rosemary Wells, the recipient of numerous awards and citations.
In the Teens & Children pavilion, the national student winners of the Letters About Literature program will read their personal letters to authors who inspired them. Sponsored by the Library’s Center for the Book with support from Target, this reading and writing promotion program invites young readers in grades 4-12 to write personal letters to authors, past or present, who have changed their views of the world or of themselves. Each year, winners are selected at the state and national levels. As the project’s corporate sponsor, Target awards the six national winners and their parents with a trip to the National Book Festival to share their winning letters with the festival audience.
“It is inspiring to see the number of young people whose lives have been positively affected by a particular author or book,” said Laysha Ward, vice president, community relations, Target. “Through its comprehensive support of early childhood reading, including the Letters About Literature program and the National Book Festival, Target is helping to instill a love of reading in kids as the foundation for lifelong learning.”
The Pavilion of the States, sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), will highlight reading, literacy and library promotion activities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several American trusts and territories. Representatives from the states and territories will welcome families and children interested in learning about writers and reading programs nationwide. IMLS representatives will also be providing information about its library initiatives, including the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians. The Big Read programs in the states, sponsored by IMLS and the National Endowment for the Arts, will be featured in the pavilion.
In the popular Let’s Read America pavilion, there will be a wide variety of fun-filled reading promotion activities developed by festival sponsors for children.
The Library of Congress Pavilion will feature a variety of interactive family-centered activities illustrating the depth and breadth of the Library’s extraordinary collections available online. Computers will be available for both children and adults to explore the Library’s acclaimed Web site at www.loc.gov. Information about conserving photographs and valuable documents as well as the Library’s digital preservation program will be provided. The Library will share the latest technologies in film and audio preservation developed for its new Packard Campus in Culpeper, Va.
In addition to planning a range of activities for this year’s festival on the National Mall, the Library is offering a variety of ways for people around the country to participate in the event online. This summer, the Library will launch the National Book Festival Young Readers’ Online Toolkit (www.loc.gov/bookfest) to bring the festival into libraries, schools and homes across the country. The Toolkit will feature information about National Book Festival authors who write for children and teens, podcasts of their readings and teaching tools and activities for kids. This interactive resource also shows educators, parents and children how they can host their own book festivals.
Available again this year will be downloadable podcasts of interviews with popular participating authors. The Library will also present same-day coverage of the morning presentations on its Web site. All of the authors’ presentations will be available on the Library’s site the week following the festival.
In addition to the same-day webcasts, the Library will again collaborate with Book TV on C-SPAN2 to televise events taking place at the festival. The C-SPAN2 Book TV Bus, a mobile television studio with a multimedia demonstration center for the public, will also be on the National Mall.
Leading up to the festival, washingtonpost.com will host a series of online chats with authors appearing at the National Book Festival. These text-based discussions can be viewed daily, starting on Monday, Sept. 24, on the site at www.washingtonpost.com. The schedule of chats and authors’ names will be posted on the site and the Library’s site at www.loc.gov/bookfest. Participants can submit questions in advance or during the live discussion. Authors’ responses will be posted while the program is airing or at a later date on washingtonpost.com’s online discussion archives. Washington Post Radio will also be interviewing authors prior to the festival day.
The artist for this year’s festival is Mercer Mayer, whose work brings a magical quality to the 2007 National Book Festival poster. Mayer will be among the authors and illustrators speaking in the Children’s Pavilion. Posters featuring his digital painting will be available free of charge at the festival.
The Junior League of Washington will again have hundreds of volunteers to help with the National Book Festival.
A preliminary list of participating authors, illustrators and poets, their books, and other activities in each presentation pavilion follows. For more information about them and the festival, visit www.loc.gov/bookfest.
Children’s Authors (sponsored by AT&T)
* María Celeste Arrarás, “The Magic Cane”
* Ashley Bryan/Jan Spivey Gilchrist, “My America”
* Carmen Deedy, “Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale”
* Mercer Mayer, “The Bravest Knight” and “There’s a Nightmare in My Closet”
* Megan McDonald, “Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Joliday”
* Judy Schachner, “Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones”
* Rosemary Wells, “Red Moon at Sharpsburg” and “Max’s ABCs”
* David Wiesner, “Flotsam”
* Jacqueline Wilson, “Candyfloss”
Teens & Children (sponsored by Target)
* M.T. Anderson, “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1”
* Holly Black, “Ironside”
* E.L. Konigsburg, “The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World”
* Gail Carson Levine, “Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand”
* Patricia MacLachlan, “Edward’s Eyes”
* Patricia McCormick, “Sold”
* Shelia P. Moses, “The Baptism”
* Cynthia Leitich Smith, “Tantalize”
* Gene Luen Yang, “American Born Chinese”
* Letters About Literature
More information about participating authors and illustrators listed above and those in the adult genres is available at the National Book Festival site.
This will be my second time appearing at the festival. I presented Rain Is Not My Indian Name at the 2002 NBF.