Tuesday, April 1, 2008

National Book Festival's Website

The National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush, has been held annually on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., since 2001. It is free and open to the public.
Each year, dozens of authors present throughout the day in pavilions that are categorized according to the following: Children; Teens & Children; Fiction & Fantasy; Mysteries & Thrillers; History & Biography; Home & Family; and Poetry. For those who were unable to attend the festival or missed a pavilion, the authors’ presentation are available as webcasts on the festival homepage.

I've attended the National Book Festival for the past two years and it is truly a unique and exiting event. Last year, over 120,000 book lovers just like me attended the event. While my husband attended the Mysteries and Thrillers pavilion, you know where my son and I were...the Children's and Teens & Children's pavilions! It is my sincere hope that the new first lady (or husband?) will continue this wonderful program.

This year, a Young Readers' Toolkit has been added to the National Book Festival's website based on the children's/teen authors from the 2007 festival. The toolkit offers the following:

Meet the Author: provides a biography, the "scoop" (interview), and link to the webcast of the authors who presented at the 2007 festival:

Host Your Own NBF: provides a hosting guide with things to consider when preparing for your own National Book Festival. What a great idea!

Educators Share: provides link to festival photos, the Library of Congress blog, suggested reading lists, book awards, and curriculum standards.

Kids Create: provides writing topics as suggested by several of the festival's children's authors; a flashcard maker in which kids can type authors' names, books, or other information they want to remember and print out; and a printable bookmark.

Kids Achieve : this section provides links to other programs/contests for kids such as the Letters about Literature National Reading and Writing Promotional Program; the River of Words poetry and art contest; and the Poetry Outloud National Recitation Contest.

The webcasts alone are invaluable. Here are the children's/teen poets in honor of National Poetry Month:

Diane Ackerman

Jack Prelutsky

Judith Viorst

Walter Dean Myers

Pat Mora

Nikki Grimes

X.J. Kennedy

Janet Wong

Jane Yolen

Gary Soto

Naomi Nye

Take a few minutes to check out all of the great resources on the website for the National Book Festival!

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