September 17, 2020 National Book Festival Features a Day of Programming for Schools, Children and Teens at Home

Author Videos and Specials to Be Released for Streaming Beginning Sept. 25 at 9 a.m. ET

Press Contact: Brett Zongker, (202) 707-1639,
Website: National Book Festival

The 2020 National Book Festival poster was designed by Rodrigo Corral Studio and Tyler Comrie with illustration and animation by Justin Metz.

The Library of Congress National Book Festival will present a robust lineup of live and recorded programming featuring all-star authors for schools and young audiences at home on Friday, Sept. 25. Video interviews with popular authors of books for children and young adults, as well as two 1-hour video specials, will be available for on-demand viewing starting at 9 a.m. ET on the festival website at and on the Library’s YouTube channel.

Registration for the free festival opens Friday, Sept. 18 at the festival website.

Two bestselling authors will host the video specials: Jon Scieszka, the Library’s first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will emcee the children’s special, “Be You!” and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds will host the teen special, “Grab the Mic, Tell Your Story.” These 1-hour programs will offer a brisk and entertaining preview of the longer videos the authors recorded for the festival. “Grab the Mic, Tell Your Story” will also include interludes from the Library’s Citizen DJ interactive project and a teen slammer from the 2020 Brave New Voices Festival-winning St. Louis team.

The following featured authors will also take questions live from the online audience on Friday, Sept. 25, on the festival website, giving young people the chance to interact with their favorite authors in real time.

  • 12 p.m. ET: Former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang on his graphic novel, “Dragon Hoops,” which turns the spotlight on a transformational moment on the basketball court in the high school where he teaches.
  • 12 p.m. ET: Parker Curry and Jessica Curry on their book about a visit to the National Portrait Gallery when young Parker Curry views first lady Michelle Obama’s portrait.
  • 1 p.m. ET: Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed on “Yes No Maybe So,” their new book about two teens of varying backgrounds who come together—and fall in love—through political canvassing.
  • 2 p.m. ET: Award-winning author and artist Mike Curato on his new book, “Flamer,” his debut graphic novel, telling a difficult story about coming of age with humor, compassion and love.

Additional live interactions with children’s and teens stage authors will continue throughout the festival, Sept. 26 and 27. Visit the festival website for a schedule of live events:

Many authors featured on the Children’s and Teens stages will discuss their books that focus on three Timely Topic Threads, or areas of specific interest. They are: Democracy in the 21st Century, Fearless Women and Hearing Black Voices. The festival website will include age-appropriate links to relevant Library collections to encourage additional engagement in these areas.

The National Book Festival is one of many programs and resources that the Library of Congress offers for students and teachers. Educators can find materials and opportunities available to them year-round at

Another fun and educational activity for young people is the Roadmap to Reading, which features a list of “Great Reads from Great Places” – 53 books that reflect the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the sponsor, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. IMLS and NEH will also host a live event Friday, Sept. 25, at 4 p.m. ET for teachers and librarians, with the Library’s Center for the Book and several of its state locations, as well as the Library’s Learning and Innovation Office.   

The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein. The Washington Post is a Charter sponsor; Patron sponsors are the Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, Wells Fargo, and the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission; Friends include the American Psychological Association, Booklovers Circle Members, Buffy Cafritz, Capital Group, Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., Joseph and Lynn Deutsch, Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction administered by The University of Alabama School of Law, the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, National Endowment for the Humanities, Tim and Diane Naughton through the Naughton Family Fund, Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, Rancho Mirage Writers Festival, Scholastic, Skoll Foundation, and Youth Speaks. C-SPAN2’s Book TV, NBC4 | Telemundo 44 | Washington, DC, The New Republic and NPR are Media Partners.

Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at Follow the festival on Twitter @librarycongress with hashtag #NatBookFest, and subscribe to the National Book Festival Blog at

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at and register creative works of authorship at


PR 20-061
ISSN 0731-3527