September 10, 2010 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Katherine Paterson in Special Program During National Book Festival Week

Laura Bush Joins Program of 70 Authors at 10th Annual Festival

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940

Beloved author Katherine Paterson, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, will make a special appearance during National Book Festival Week on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 11 a.m. in the Library of Congress’ Coolidge Auditorium on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E. Youngsters and their parents, teachers or guardians are encouraged to attend the program, featuring one of the world’s leading writers of books for young people. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is supported by the Jonah S. Eskin Memorial Fund and is among the special activities in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Library of Congress National Book Festival.

In other book festival news, former First Lady and author Laura Bush will join the lineup of authors in the History & Biography Pavilion at the National Book Festival, slated for Saturday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The National Book Festival will take place on the National Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets.

Mrs. Bush was a key to the establishment of the National Book Festival, and with the Library of Congress co-hosted those that took place when she and her husband occupied the White House.

She will be in the History & Biography pavilion at 10:35 a.m. to discuss her recent memoir, “Spoken from the Heart” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). Mrs. Bush will also talk about her experiences at past National Book Festivals and about her role in the Texas Book Festival, which laid the groundwork for the national event. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early for Mrs. Bush’s program, as seating will be very limited.

In the Thursday program, Paterson will talk about her work, her commitment to promoting the importance of reading to young people and what has inspired her to write such award-winning books as “Bridge to Terabithia” and “Jacob Have I Loved.” Paterson is a two-time winner of both the Newbery Medal and National Book Award.

She has received many other accolades for her body of work, including the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, given by her home state of Vermont. The Library of Congress named Paterson a Living Legend in 2000. Her most recent book is “The Day of the Pelican,” a moving, dramatic story of a refugee family’s flight from war-torn Kosovo to America. The event is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which also co-sponsors the National Ambassadorship for Young People’s Literature with the Children’s Book Council.

In addition to the special event on Sept. 23, Katherine Paterson is also appearing in several other programs during the National Book Festival on Saturday, Sept. 25:

  • 10 a.m., Children’s Pavilion: “The Exquisite Corpse Adventure.” During this one-hour program, Paterson will be joined by M.T. Anderson, Mary Brigid Barrett, Timothy Basil Ering, Linda Sue Park and James Ransome for a “Readers’ Theater” performance of the final episode of this story available exclusively at
  • 4:05-4:35 p.m., Teens & Children Pavilion: Paterson will appear solo to discuss her work and answer audience questions.
  • 4:40-5:30 p.m., Teens & Children Pavilion: Paterson will participate in a special Letters About Literature event with other authors. This reading and writing program is co-sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Target for students in grades 4-12. They are asked to write to an author past or present about how their work affected them. Three local students will read their award-winning letters to Paterson and other authors to whom they wrote.

The 2010 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of Co-Chairman, National Book Festival Board David M. Rubenstein; Charter Sponsors Target and The Washington Post; Patrons AT&T, Institute of Museum and Library Services, The James Madison Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS Raising Readers; Contributors Borders, Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive, Penguin Group (USA),, Scholastic Inc. and the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union; and Friends The Hay-Adams, the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV and The Junior League of Washington.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and on the National Book Festival website at


PR 10-202
ISSN 0731-3527