Last year more than 100,000 readers attended this national homage to the book and the wonders of reading. They were attracted by the opportunity to see and hear more than 70 best-selling authors discuss their craft and sign their works for fans. This year will be no exception.
Participating authors include novelists Khaled Hosseini, author of the "Kite Runner," and Geraldine Brooks, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for her book "March"; journalist Bob Woodward; historians John Hope Franklin and Doris Kearns Goodwin; biographer Taylor Branch ("Martin Luther King"); Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin, winners of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for their biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer; authors of books for children and teens, including Andrew Clements, Stephenie Meyer, Richard Peck and Louis Sachar; award-winning illustrators Bryan Collier, Betsy Lewin and Mark Teague; Donald Hall, the recently named 14th Poet Laureate of the United States; and poet Dana Gioia, the chairman the National Endowment for the Arts; best-selling mystery and thriller authors, including Michael Connelly, Lisa Scottoline, Kathy Reichs and Alexander McCall Smith; science fiction award-winner Spider Robinson; and Elmer Kelton, author of more than 40 novels and voted "the best Western author of all time" by the Western Writers of America.
In addition to meeting their favorite authors, festival visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the reading programs and resources in libraries across the country. The "Pavilion of the States" will highlight the book, reading, literacy and library promotion activities of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several American trusts and territories. Representatives from every state and territory will welcome families and children interested in that state's writers and reading programs. In addition, the "Let's Read America" pavilion will feature reading promotion activities developed by select festival sponsors. Children can meet ever-popular storybook and television characters, such as Arthur the Aardvark, Maya and Clifford the Big Red Dog, who will appear on the festival grounds throughout the day.