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Tips for Families for the National Book Festival

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The following post originally appeared on the Library’s new blog for kids and families, Minerva’s Kaleidoscope

Parents and caregivers, we hope you’re looking forward to the National Book Festival! Here are a few tips to guide you:

When, Where, and How to Access:

A young National Book Festival visitor watches an animated version of the festival poster on one of the convention center’s digital displays, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress.
  • Beginning at 9 am ET on Friday, September 25, the children and teen author videos will be available under the “Stages” tab on the virtual festival platform. You can also find all of the children and teen programs on the Library’s YouTube channel.
  • Registration is required to participate in live Q&A and registrants must be 13 or older. If you would like younger children to participate, please register together to navigate the festival with them. Registration is available here.
  • Get more advice for navigating the festival in this webinar and in this PowerPoint presentation for teachers.

What to Do During the Festival Sept. 25-27:

  • Authors were all asked about their inspiration as well as their thoughts on American ingenuity, the theme of this year’s festival. Prep younger kids with a conversation about the meaning of ingenuity. What makes someone or something creative, inventive, resourceful? This blog post has additional ideas for discussions around the term.
  • Join a live conversation! Your kids can ask questions of their favorite author in live chat Q&As. Check the schedule here or the schedule tab within the virtual festival platform here for details.
  • Stop by the “Explore the Library of Congress” tab on the virtual festival platform to find a section on “Activities for Families” with handouts, videos, and other resources for kids and families from around the Library.
  • Take a road trip through the Roadmap to Reading! Stop by the Discover State Reads tab on the virtual festival platform and pull over at a book that looks interesting to you. Once you’ve learned a bit about it, see if it makes you want to explore other reads on the road. These suggestions come from Centers for the Book from around the country.
  • The Learning Guide to the Festival” provides some thinking questions for kids to use to explore the author videos and more suggestions for exploring the festival.

Can’t join the festival this weekend? You can find all of the author videos at throughout the year!

The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate its 20th birthday this year. You can get up-to-the-minute news, schedule updates and other important festival information by subscribing to this blog. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You can support the festival, too, by making a gift now.


  1. i just heard about this today.

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