Next weekend is the 11th Annual National Book Festival and this year, for the first time, it will be held for two days! If you have never been, do yourself a favor and go. Your favorite authors talking about your favorite books in the nation's capitol -- what more could you possible want?
An unprecedented 112 authors, poets and illustrators will speak and meet with their readers at the 2011 National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress. The event, to be held Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25 on the National Mall – rain or shine – also will offer more authors and activities for young readers than ever before.
The event is free and open to the public. Saturday hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday hours will be from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Authors’ speaking and book-signing schedules are available on the festival website, www.loc.gov/bookfest.
President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, the first lady, are the honorary chairs of the event. The distinguished benefactor of the event is David M. Rubenstein, who co-chairs the National Book Festival Board with Dr. James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress.
"Following on the great success of the 2010 National Book Festival, our 10th anniversary, the National Book Festival Board decided last January to make this a two-day event," Billington said. "We expect book-lovers to be delighted with the number of poets, authors and illustrators we’ve assembled this year, including several winners of major literary awards.
"The authors’ talks will be a bit longer, and we believe festival-goers’ access to authors in the book-signing area will be made a bit easier."
Festival fans will find the usual array of author pavilions this year – History & Biography, Fiction & Mystery, Poetry & Prose and Contemporary Life, along with a pavilion aimed at Teens and another for Children.
Target -- the distinguished corporate benefactor of the National Book Festival -- will sponsor the "Family Storytelling Stage," a pavilion offering briefer presentations by more than 20 authors and musicians whose books and performances are devoted to very young readers. The sponsorship is part of Target’s commitment to helping more children read proficiently by the end of grade 3.
"We are delighted that Target has helped us take our already very family-friendly event to a whole new, very young audience of book-lovers," said Deanna Marcum, associate librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress and executive director of the National Book Festival. "The Family Storytelling Stage will carry the banner for this year’s National Book Festival theme, ‘Celebrate the Joy of Reading Aloud.’"
On Sunday, the National Book Festival will convert its spacious "Pavilion of the States" into three new genre pavilions: State Poets Laureate, "The Cutting Edge," and Graphic Novels.
Author lineups in all pavilions include:
- Children: Mary Brigid Barrett, Harry Bliss, Calef Brown, Susan Cooper, Carmen Agra Deedy and John McCutcheon, Tomie dePaola, Jack Gantos, Joe Hayes, William Joyce, John Bemelmans Marciano, Patricia McKissack, Dorie McCullough Lawson, Sam McBratney, Julianne Moore, Jon J Muth and Chris Van Dusen
- Family Storytelling Stage: Wally Amos, Tom Angleberger, Mac Barnett, Michael Buckley, Angela Farris, Daniel Kirk, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Josh Lewis, Tom Lichtenheld, Loren Long, Cedelia Marley, Julianne Moore, Lauren Myracle, Jane O’Connor, Matthew Reinhart, John Rocco, Mark Pett and Gary Rubenstein, Ellen Sabin, Bob Shea and Lisa Yee
- Teens: Cassandra Clare, Susan Cooper, Sarah Dessen, Jack Gantos, Gordon Korman, Uma Krishaswami, Patricia McKissack, Shelia P. Moses, Kadir Nelson, Katherine Paterson, Gary D. Schmidt, Brian Selznick and Rita Williams-Garcia