Top of page

Artwork showing title and details for NBF 2023
Artwork for the 2023 National Book Festival, designed by artist Lisa Congdon.

Stories for Everyone at the 2023 Library of Congress National Book Festival

Share this post:

There’s great excitement in the Informal Learning Office as the Library of Congress gears up for this year’s National Book Festival (NBF), one of our biggest annual events. The festival takes place on Saturday, August 12, 2023, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C., from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Attendance is free of charge; doors open at 8:30 a.m. Information about all the festival’s programs, participating authors and much more is available here. This post will share some particular highlights for young readers.

If you’re taking part onsite, plan your day with this schedule, which you can filter to reflect a particular interest. While we hope that local families will join us in person, there are also online participation options. This virtual guide can help you plan your online experience, including livestreamed sessions. Video of all programs will be available after the festival.

Kids reading at NBF 2022
Young festivalgoers enjoy the Please Read Me A Story Stage at the National Book Festival, September 3, 2022. Photo by Dupelia Numa/For the Library of Congress.

The theme of this year’s event, “Everyone Has a Story” is reflected in the diversity of the author lineup and the day’s programming. The list of authors by genre includes several categories geared towards young people, such as “For Teens and Adults”, “Young Adults,” “Middle Grade”, “Picture Books” and “Graphic Novels”. Just a few of the many family-oriented sessions on stage include:

  • Picture Books:
    • Hot Dog” and “Stickler Loves the World feature in The World Is a Big Place for Little Creatures, with authors Doug Salati and Lane Smith (9:00 – 9:25 a.m. EDT, Room 204, Level 2, South Building). Book signing sessions for both titles follow (10:00 – 11:00, Hall DE, Level 2 North Building).
  • Middle Grade:
    • “White Bird: A Novel” is the focus of a conversation between authors R.J. Palacio and Erica S. Perl, and moderator Meg Medina, the Library’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (9:30 – 10:30 a.m. EDT, Ballroom BC, Level 3, South Building). The session includes a preview of the upcoming movie adaptation of the story, set in Nazi-occupied France. Palacio and Perl will sign books after the talk (11:00 – 12:00, Hall DE, Level 2 North Building).
  • Graphic Novels:
    • Learn about imaginary superheroes and the real U.S. Ghost Army unit when Alan Gratz talks about his graphic novel “Captain America: The Ghost Army (2:30 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. EDT, Room 204, Level 2, South Building) and signs books (3:00 – 4:30, Hall DE, Level 2 North Building).
  • Young Adults:
    • Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute and “That Self-Same Metal owe much to Jane Austen and William Shakespeare, but are thoroughly new stories (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT, Room 202, Level 2, South Building). Authors Sayantani DasGupta and Brittany N. Williams will both sign books (1:30 – 2:30, Hall DE, Level 2 North Building).
Author Meg Medina
National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina is a featured author at the 2023 National Book Festival. Photo by Scott Elmquist.

Throughout the day, there’ll be several family-friendly activities in Hall DE (Level 2, North Building) of the Convention Center — please stop by the Informal Learning Office table and say hello! Our colleagues at the Center for the Book will be back with the popular Great Reads From Great Places, representing the literary heritage of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The literacy nonprofit Literature to Life will perform F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”.

Additional Resources:

National Book Festival 2023 promises to be a great event. We hope you enjoy favorite authors, discover some new ones, and immerse yourselves in all that’s on offer for booklovers of all ages, whether your family takes part virtually or in-person. We look forward to celebrating books and reading with you! 

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.