Top of page

Local Literary Heritage Featured at Parade of the States

Share this post:

Visitors explore state-themed activities on the expo floor at the 2018 National Book Festival. Photo by David Rice.

The Parade of the States at the Library of Congress National Book Festival is not a parade like the Thanksgiving Day Parade or your local St. Patrick’s Day Parade or even the parades held during Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

But it is a parade, nonetheless.

It’s a parade, as in “to exhibit ostentatiously or to flaunt.”  What the National Book Festival’s Parade of the States is flaunting is the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories.

The National Book Festival is on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Visit for full details.

Every year, the affiliated Centers for the Book choose a book to represent the literary heritage of their state or territory. The list is intended to encourage festival attendees to read books that connect to their own state as well as other states.

The Parade of the States is on the lower level of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where the festival’s family-friendly activities are held. You can’t miss it, because it’s the most-crowded area on the floor!

Young people and their parents, with a map-brochure in hand (available at the tables of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Junior League of Washington) are asked to visit all 53 tables and get a unique stamp. IMLS and NEH also have a stamp. Once all stamps are collected, a prize is given at the IMLS and JLW tables. NEH will have other special giveaways.

As the chief sponsor of the Parade of States, the Institute of Museum and Library Services will showcase how libraries are so much more than books. They’re places of change. Visitors will learn about innovative programs funded by IMLS in libraries across the nation, as well as the important role of state libraries. In addition to being a prize destination for completing the Parade of States activity, the IMLS booth invites visitors to make their mark on a map of the United States and strike a pose at a photo booth. On the Parade of the States stage, IMLS invites people of all ages to learn how anyone who wants to can be a librarian, as a diverse set of current and future librarians talk about their chosen path. Join in for a unique story time session by librarians serving differently abled populations, to demonstrate how libraries are reaching out to include all people from their communities.

The National Endowment for the Humanities will be highlighting the fight to pass the 19th Amendment at its booth. Visitors will be able to pick up a related issue of Humanities magazine and an “I would have been a suffragette” button. They can also take selfies with cutouts of Alice Paul and Anna Julia Cooper, two leaders in the fight for women’s suffrage. Festival cutout favorites Alexander Hamilton, Jane Austen and Frederick Douglass are also making a return appearance, along with posters, stickers and bookmarks. On the Parade of the States stage, iCivics will do a demonstration of its NEH-supported “Race to Ratify” game, which drops players into 1787 and the fight over ratifying the Constitution. NEH will also be showcasing one of the films it supports.

Following are this year’s 53 Great Reads About Great Places. Have fun learning about all the states!

  • Alabama • Ernestine’s Milky Way by Kerry Madden-Lunsford
  • Alaska • Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich by Annie Boochever; in collaboration with Roy Peratrovich Jr.
  • Arizona • The Night Flower: The Blooming of the Saguaro Cactus by Lara Hawthorne
  • Arkansas • Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington’s Mount Vernon by Carla Killough McClafferty
  • California • The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
  • Colorado • Mela and the Elephant by Dow Phumiruk
  • Connecticut • Whale Quest: Working Together to Save Endangered Species by Karen Romano Young
  • Delaware • Lost Soul, Be at Peace by Maggie Thrash
  • District of Columbia • A Place to Land by Barry Wittenstein
  • Florida • Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  • Georgia • Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons
  • Hawaii • Daughter of Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  • Idaho • Beauty and the Beak by Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkamp
  • Illinois • Otis and Will Discover the Deep by Barb Rosenstock
  • Indiana • ATTUCKS!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team that Awakened a City by Phillip Hoose
  • Iowa • Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus
  • Kansas • No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas by Tonya Bolden
  • Kentucky • Rock and Roll Woods by Sherry Howard
  • Louisiana • The Craziest Fishing Tale on the Bayou by Gary Alipio
  • Maine • Little Bird’s Flock by The Telling Room’s Publishing Workshop
  • Maryland • Riverbound by Melinda Beatty
  • Massachusetts • Windows by Julia Denos
  • Michigan • Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story by Lindsey McDivitt
  • Minnesota • The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
  • Mississippi • The Rambling by Jimmy Cajoleas
  • Missouri • What Is Given From the Heart by Patricia McKissack
  • Montana • Montana for Kids by Allen Morris Jones
  • Nebraska • Simpson’s Sheep Just Want to Sleep! by Bruce Arant
  • Nevada • The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons
  • New Hampshire • The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
  • New Jersey • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
  • New Mexico • The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
  • New York • Harriett the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  • North Carolina • Grenade by Alan Gratz
  • North Dakota • The Legend of Greg: An Epic Series of Failures by Chris Rylander
  • Ohio • Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy
  • Oklahoma • Friends Stick Together by Hannah E. Harrison
  • Oregon • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  • Pennsylvania • A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
  • Puerto Rico • Mi isla bella, mi isla hermosa by Isset M. Pastrana-Andino
  • Rhode Island • Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
  • South Carolina • How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons
  • South Dakota • Muskrat and Skunk / Sinkpe na Maka: A Lakota Drum Story
  • by Donald F. Montileaux (Lakota translation by Agnes Gay)
  • Tennessee • This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce
  • Texas • What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton
  • U.S. Territories • I Am the Virgin Islands by Tiphanie Yanique
  • Utah • Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
  • Vermont • Bob by Tracey Campbell Pearson
  • Virginia • Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
  • Washington • All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
  • West Virginia • The Princess and the Pickup Truck by Bil Lepp
  • Wisconsin • The Rhino in Right Field by Stacy DeKeyser
  • Wyoming • Rusty and the River: A Rusty the Ranch Horse Tale by Mary Fichtner

Comments (3)

  1. Hello…

    I find I am unable to be at the event due to a health situation.
    I was soo hoping to get a book signed by SCJ Ginsburg.
    Will Justice Ginsburg be signing extra books by any chance? I would gladly purchase one…was so hoping to be there and meet her.

    Thank you, Cecilia A. Casey

    • Cecilia, Justice Ginsburg will not be signing books at the National Book Festival. We’re sorry you won’t be able to make it, but we plan to livestream our Main Stage (including Justice Ginsburg’s presentation) on the day of the festival, so you won’t have to miss it. Details to come!

  2. Checkout the NYS Writers Hall of Fame that will be at the New York State exhibit. Two of the photo cutouts, Alexander Hamilton & Frederick Douglass are members of the Hall of Fame. Also pick up a recipe card from our Route 1 Reads selection, “Storied Bars of New Gork”. In Addis, have your photo taken wearing a Miss Liberty crown.

Comments are closed.