A Festival for Families: Making the Most of the 2022 National Book Festival

We are excited to welcome your family to this year’s National Book Festival on September 3 at the Washington Convention Center – and online! This year’s theme is “Books Bring Us Together” and the full schedule is now up, including the schedule for book signings, but we wanted to share a few specific suggestions for making the most of the festival.

A house made of books with "National Book Festival" written on the spines

Detail of the poster for the 2022 National Book Festival

In-Person, for Kids:

The children’s stage and family-friendly activities all take place in the expo hall on the lower level – come straight there for all of it!

  • Join a Conversation: Participate in a moderated conversation with authors on the two children’s stages on the Lower Level: Please Read Me a Story (ages 3-8, in Hall A) and KidLit (ages 8-12, in Hall B).
  • Make & Create with the Library: Meet Library staff members and participate in hands-on activities on the expo floor – make a zine and a bookplate, browse titles from the children and teen stages, and more.
  • Follow the Roadmap to Reading: Meet representatives of Library partner organizations from all 50 states and some U.S. territories – and enter to win a prize if you stop by each one!
  • Stretch Out with Family Yoga or Settle in for Storytime: The Washington Post and other festival sponsors will host an array of family-friendly activities in the expo hall.

In-Person, for Teens:

  • Join a Conversation: The Young Adult stage (ages 12-18) is on the second floor, Room 202. Follow the link to find the schedule for that stage to hear moderated conversations with authors.
  • Meet Other Teen Book-Lovers: The Library’s teen interns will host a table in the expo hall on the Lower Level where they will share their favorite resources at the Library and where teens can come to talk about the sessions with peers.

Online & Near You:

Can’t join us in person? No problem! The Library is partnering with libraries and community organizations around the country to host watch parties in the “Festival Near You.” Check the festival website for details on times and locations. Participating communities include: Patagonia & Globe, AZ; Malibu & Westminster, CA; Dover, DE; Gary, IN; Lafayette, LA: Boston & Dennis Port, MA; Huntingtown, MD; Stratham & Exeter, NH; West Shokan, NY; Richmond, VA; Winthrop, WA.

Or, create your own watch party from home! Download the festival poster and watch online! The Young Adult stage events will stream live on loc.gov from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., including:

  • Lying Runs in the Family: E. Lockhart Talks About Her New Novel
  • Magic to Haunt You: Innovative Novels by Latinx Writers with Anna-Marie McLemore and R.M. Romero
  • Meet Me in the Winner’s Circle: Award-Winning Writers with Donna Barba Higuera, Darcie Little Badger and Malinda Lo
  • You’re Such a Nightmare: Horror Novels with Tiffany D. Jackson and Ryan La Sala
  • Rage Against the System: Teens Who Don’t Back Down with Samira Ahmed and Sabaa Tahir
  • Love Me Like a Love Song: Fresh Takes on Romance with Ebony LaDelle and David Valdes
  • What Happens Next in Sequelland? with Victoria Aveyard, Namina Forna and Chloe Gong
  • Jason Reynolds Talks About His Latest Books

The Main Stage will be live-streamed too! You can find young adult authors on the main stage, including National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds, here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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This blog was coordinated by Alli Hartley-Kong with contributions from Junior Fellows Khrisma McMurray and Kim Grossett, and interns Danielle Fedrigo and Jade Castillo Hermosillo. One of my favorite things about working at the Library of Congress is the incredible array of people who are our colleagues, staff, and visitors. As a proud New Jersey […]