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.
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:
- 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).
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”.
- Learn all about the history of NBF here.
- Find out about the poster for this year’s festival, designed by Lisa Congdon.
- Check out this NBF poster gallery, where you can download a copy of this year’s poster, as well as view and print those from previous years.
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!