This weekend the U.S. is observing a national holiday – Labor Day – but families can celebrate something else today, too. The 14th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival celebrates favorite authors and titles from every genre. From poetry to young adult novels to non-fiction, families of all ages are invited to meet authors and listen to new stories that have yet to be read.
This year’s festival begins at 10 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. More than 100 authors will be stationed around the center at various pavilions devoted to the individual genres. The Library of Congress will also have a pavilion where guests can get a behind-the-scenes look at how the department works to distribute resources to people all over the country. A Pavilion of States is another must-see area and families can learn of the various literary traditions of the 50 states and territories. Kids can even pick up an interactive map where they’ll get a sticker every time they visit a different state or territory’s table (see if you can get all 52!). Pavilions will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Evening events, such as a poetry slam and author panel, will also take place, beginning at 6 p.m.
Let’s Read America is where every family will want to take the kids. The Washington Post will host a bookmark-making station and the newspaper’s mascot, Ned the Newshound, will be available for photo-ops between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Right next to the Let’s Read America exhibit is the PBS Explorer Zone, with even more fun activities for children. Meet the characters of The Cat in the Hat, Curious George and other classics; spin the PBS Kids Wheel for a chance to win a prize; and create your own puppet show.
The 14th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival begins at 10 a.m. today, with doors opening at 9 a.m. Admission is free and food and drinks will be for sale; no outside refreshments are allowed into the venue. For a full schedule and more information on today’s event, visit the Library of Congress website.
– Hilarey Wojtowicz