National Book Festival

This is a cross-post with my YA blog, Teen Lit Rocks

Even after six years, my family misses living in New York City. But one of the best parts of living in the Washington D.C. area is getting to attend the National Book Festival.

The Book Festival will always be dear to my heart, because the first fall we lived here, back in 2007, my mother visited me for two weeks. Her colon cancer had already metastasized, but she was determined to visit my new home and spend some time exploring Washington DC. I don’t know why we thought she’d be able to walk around so much (me being three months pregnant and sick a lot of the time, and Mami experiencing so much pain), but Mami had a fiery spirit, so off we went.

We took the kids and marched down to the Mall and had so much fun grabbing free tote bags, listening to authors, and stopping at the various booths and tents. Afterward, all of us were exhausted, but Mami was beyond exhaustion; she really should’ve have walked so far for so long. But she loved crowds and being with so many people energized her in a way only a true extrovert like her could understand.

So every September, my birthday, her birthday and the festival fall within a few days of each other. And every year since I think of Mami, who this October will have been gone five years, and what joy she found among the booklovers and authors at the National Book Festival.

This year, I have to miss some of my favorite authors due to other commitments, but I am invited to the Gala tonight (woo hoo!), and we plan to see the authors I’ve highlighted in the schedule below. Who would you want to see?

Saturday Schedule: Children
10:00-10:30 Fred Bowen 11:00-12:00
10:40-11:10 Kadir Nelson 12:00-1:00
11:20-11:50 Katherine Applegate 12:30-1:30
12:00-12:30 Brian Floca 1:00-2:00
12:40-1:10 Jon Klassen 1:30-2:30
1:20-1:50 Rafael López 2:30-3:30
1:20-1:50 Monica Brown 2:30-3:30
2:00-2:30 Andrea Davis Pinkney 3:00-4:00
2:00-2:30 Brian Pinkney 3:00-4:00
2:40-3:10 Oliver Jeffers 3:30-4:30
3:20-3:50 Paolo Bacigalupi 4:30-5:30
4:00-4:30 Matthew Holm 2:00-3:00
4:00-4:30 Jennifer L. Holm 2:00-3:00
4:40-5:10 Kevin Henkes 2:00-3:00
5:20-5:50 William Wegman 2:00-3:00

Teens & Children
10:00-10:30 Holly Black 11:30-12:30
10:40-11:10 Matthew Quick 12:00-1:00
11:20-11:50 Patrick Ness 12:30-1:30
12:00-12:30 Kirby Larson 10:30-11:30
12:40-1:10 Cynthia Kadohata 10:30-11:30
1:20-1:50 Matt de la Peña 2:30-3:30
2:00-2:30 Eric Gansworth 3:00-4:00
2:40-3:10 Jonathan Maberry 3:30-4:30
3:20-3:50 Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 4:30-5:30
4:00-4:30 Veronica Roth 2:00-3:00
4:40-5:10 Sonya Sones 1:30-2:30
5:20-5:50 James L. Swanson 3:30-4:30

Sunday Schedule: Children
12:00-12:30 Giada De Laurentiis 1:00-2:00
12:40-1:10 Grace Lin 1:30-2:30
1:20-1:50 Jon Scieszka 2:30-3:30
2:00-2:30 Suzy Lee 3:00-4:00
2:40-3:10 Christopher Myers 4:00-5:00
3:20-3:50 Mark Teague 4:45-5:45
4:00-4:30 James Ransome 2:00-3:00
4:00-4:30 Lesa Cline-Ransome 2:00-3:00
4:40-5:10 Richard Peck 2:30-3:30

Teens & Children
12:40-1:10 Katherine Paterson 2:00-3:00
1:20-1:50 Susan Cooper 2:30-3:30
2:00-2:30 Matthew J. Kirby 3:00-4:00
2:40-3:10 D.J. MacHale 3:30-4:30
3:20-3:50 Tamora Pierce 4:30-5:30
4:00-4:30 Lisa McMann 2:00-3:00
4:40-5:10 Kathryn Erskine 3:00-4:00

Plus, if you go (it’s between 9th and 14th Streets from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 12 noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday– Rain or shine!), you MUST check out the PBS Kids tent, where kids can listen to Mr. Steve and meet some of their newest characters like Peg and Cat from “Peg + Cat,” and favorites like Wordgirl and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” Scholastic will also be there, encouraging kids to build their own book, learn about eBooks, and more. Hope to see you there!