National Book Festival celebrating milestone


Happy Independence Day! I hope you and your loved ones have a safe and enjoyable celebration this weekend. All Delaware County District Library locations are closed on Sunday, July 4, but will be open on Monday, July 5.

This fall, the Library of Congress will celebrate their 21th anniversary of the National Book Festival. It’s an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities.

The festival was founded in 2001 by First Lady Laura Bush and then-Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. It grew from small beginnings on the Library of Congress grounds and Capitol Hill to expanding to cover the lawn of the Capitol and onto the National Mall. More recently, the Washington Convention Center hosted the event.

The September 2021 event will be held largely online, with only a handful of ticketed, in-person events. However, there is still much to celebrate in the world of writing and literacy. Some of our nation’s best authors, poets and illustrators will discuss their work and answer questions. This year we’ll hear from Yaa Gyasi, Christopher Paolini, Mary Roach, Angie Thomas, and many more.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden says, “Our stellar cast of authors, conversations on timely topics, and new ways to engage will allow everyone to enjoy a personalized National Book Festival how, when and where they want to experience it.”

One special piece of the National Book Festival is the “Discover Great Places Through Reading” list. Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands is distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book during the festival. Each book is selected by a state. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage.

This year’s selection to represent Ohio is “Other Words for Home” by Jasmine Warga – an author who we happen to have visiting us virtually on Monday, July 12, during our Middle School Book Club! Interested teens can sign up to meet Jasmine at on the Events page. The visit and casual conversation will take place at 3 p.m.

Read more about Warga’s book below, along with other past representatives for Ohio at the National Book Festival.

• “Other Words for Home” by Jasmine Warga. Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative’s home in Cincinnati when her Syrian community is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the beloved family members who were left behind and forges a new sense of identity shaped by friends and changing perspectives.

• “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race (Young Readers’ Edition)” by Douglas Brinkley. A young readers’ edition of the award-winning historian’s 50th anniversary account of America’s race to the moon shares behind-the-scenes insights into the heroic achievements of the Apollo 11 team and why the mission was so important.

• “Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber” by Sue Macy. Details the life and accomplishments of Mary Garber, the first woman to win the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award and to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Sportcasters and Sportswriters Association.

• “The Seventh Most Important Thing” by Shelley Pearsall. In 1963, 13-year-old Arthur is sentenced to community service helping the neighborhood Junk Man after he throws a brick at the old man’s head in a moment of rage, but the junk he collects might be more important than he suspects. Inspired by the work of American folk artist James Hampton.

• “Moonpenny Island” by Tricia Springstubb. One of two eleven-year-olds on Moonpenny Island during the off season, Flor struggles with feelings of abandonment before becoming involved in a geological excavation that helps her confront painful truths about her family and herself.

• “Little Tree” by Loren Long. Loving his life in the woods so much that he resists change and refuses to release his brown and withered leaves year after year, a little tree makes a reassuring discovery when he finally learns to let go.

• “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson. The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South.

By Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

No posts to display