Newly sharpened pencils, tart apples and falling leaves — Fall is more than the start of a new school year. In many communities it’s also book festival season! Take a break from the fall rush, meet your favorite authors and illustrators face to face, and hear first hand about the best and brightest new books.
(The gorgeous poster for this year’s National Book Festival was created by Rafael López)
The king of the festivals is in my hometown, Washington DC. Distinguished authors from every state gather to present their books to tens of thousands of readers, young and old. This year you can climb into Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Treehouse books or shiver your Goosebumps away with R. L. Stine, and that’s just the beginning. Dozens of children’s and YA authors will be headlining this year’s program. And like most fall book festivals it’s all FREE.
After looking all over the internet I couldn’t track down a list of Fall book festivals with great kids’ events so I’ve made one of my own. Here it is!
Sept 17-23 Brooklyn , NY Brooklyn Book Festival www.brooklynbookfestival.org (Did you read and love WONDER? Author R. J. Pallacio will be here!)
Sept 22-23 Kirkland, Washington Northwest Bookfest http://nwbookfest.com/ (Smart and funky festival, just like the Pacific Northwest. I’ve loved Peg Kehret’s middle grade novels for years-wish I could see her here!)
Sept 22-23 Washington DC National Book Festival http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/ (The king of the festivals. This is a who’s who of the book world- children’s, young adult and everything else from poetry to world lit to mystery!)
Sept 26-30 Fairfax, Virginia Fall For The Book http://www.fallforthebook.org/ (Smart, cool festival on the heals of the big one in DC)
Sept 28-30 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Book Festival http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com (Big time authors and Baltimore natives flock to this festival. I’m looking forward to Newbery winner Laura Amy Schlitz and her new book Splendors and Glooms)
Sept 28-30 Deadwood, South Dakota South Dakota Festival of Books http://www.sdbookfestival.com/ (How can you miss with a festival in Deadwood?)
September 30 West Hollywood, California West Hollywood Book Fair www.westhollywoodbookfair.org (Hollywood Chic! More YA than middle grade but it’s still fun for kids)
October 1-6 San Diego California San Diego City College International Book Fair http://www.sdcitybookfair.com/ (appears there’s not a lot of programming for kids although Matt de la Pena will be speaking)
October 12-14 Brattleboro, Vermont Brattleboro Book Festival http://brattleboroliteraryfestival.org/ (Many of my favorite authors and illustrators come to this intimate and exciting festival. This year I’m looking forward to Tony DiTerlizzi, Jane Yolen and Karen Hesse)
October 13-14 Charleston, WV West Virginia Book Festival http://wvbookfestival.org/ (great fun Robert Sabuda will show off his pop up books this year!)
October 14-16 Nashville, Tennessee Southern Festival of Books http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/events-children-and-young-adults (I’ll be at this one! Hope to see you there!)
October 20 Cincinnati, Ohio Books By The Banks http://booksbythebanks.org/topics/2012/childrens-2012/ (I’ll be here, too! If you don’t catch up with me in Nashville meet me here!)
October 27-28 Austin, Texas Texas Book Festival http://www.texasbookfestival.org/ (This book festival is renowned! The events are always amazing!)
October 27 Dallas Texas International Book Festival http://dallasinternationalbookfair.com/ (A smaller festival but great events)
Nov 9-10 Frankfort, Kentucky Kentucky Book Fair http://kybookfair.blogspot.com/ (A mix of children’s and adult authors, many with Kentucky connections)
Nov 11 Miami, Florida Miami Book Fair www.miamibookfair.com (Fun in the sun! Each year a different country is featured, incorporating fabulous children’s events)
I know I’ve missed some. If there’s a fun festival or fair in your community leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list!
Tami Lewis Brown will be dusting off her presentation skills this fall for book festivals in Cincinnati and Nashville!