September 10, 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival Announces Children's and Teens Author Lineup

Kate DiCamillo, Jason Reynolds, Meg Medina, Derrick Barnes, Tahereh Mafi and Traci Chee Among Participants

Press Contact: Brett Zongker,
Website: National Book Festival

The 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival featured more than 100 authors, poets and writers in a range of formats — all celebrating the festival theme, “Open a Book, Open the World.” The poster art for this year's festival was designed by Dana Tanamachi.

The 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival will include an extraordinary lineup of authors for children, teens and kids of all ages – all featured in videos on demand accessible from the start of the festival, which runs Sept. 17-26.

Five children’s authors and five teen authors will also participate in live, online Q&A events Sept. 25 and 26. Subscribe to the National Book Festival blog for updates on the festival. Access to all children’s and teens content will begin on Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. ET at

A learning guide for teachers and students to engage with the festival is available here.

The theme of this year’s festival, “Open a Book, Open the World,” will be the starting point for many conversations with authors, often discussing how their own books open up new worlds for their readers.

Children’s authors and their featured books are:

  • Derrick Barnes, “I Am Every Good Thing”
  • Kacen Callender, “King and the Dragonflies”
  • Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall, “The Beatryce Prophecy”
  • Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas, “Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman”
  • Nikki Grimes, “Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance”
  • Dan Gutman, “Houdini and Me”
  • Brayden Harrington, “Brayden Speaks Up: How One Boy Inspired the Nation”
  • Ann Clare LeZotte, “Show Me a Sign”
  • Meg Medina, “Merci Suárez Can’t Dance”
  • Lupita Nyong’o, “Sulwe”
  • Jerry Pinkney, “The Little Mermaid”
  • Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas, “Wow in the World: The How and Wow of the Human Body: From Your Tongue to Your Toes and All the Guts in Between”
  • Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz, “The Chance to Fly”

Children’s authors participating in live Q&A sessions are: Derrick Barnes, Rep. Sharice Davids, Dan Gutman, Jerry Pinkney and Mindy Thomas. Teen authors doing live Q&A sessions are: Traci Chee, Tahereh Mafi, Kekla Magoon, Trung Le Nguyen and Jason Reynolds.

Select children’s videos, featuring Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall, Ann Clare LeZotte, Meg Medina, Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas, will include short vignettes related to the featured books that demonstrate activities for families to do together using Library’s collections.

Teens authors and their featured books include:

  • Traci Chee, “We Are Not Free”
  • Jay Coles, “Things We Couldn’t Say”
  • Sharon G. Flake, “The Life I’m In”
  • Tahereh Mafi, “An Emotion of Great Delight”
  • Kekla Magoon, “Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People”
  • Trung Le Nguyen, “The Magic Fish”
  • Jason Reynolds, “Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks”
  • Angie Thomas, “Concrete Rose”
  • Katie Zhao, “How We Fall Apart”
  • Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam, “Punching the Air”

In a new approach this year, Library of Congress teen interns and student ambassadors from the 2020-2021 GRAB THE MIC tour with Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Jason Reynolds led eight of the interviews featuring authors for teens. Twelve students from California, Washington, Wyoming, Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia developed questions for each author and conducted the interviews with support from Library staff. The Library’s six summer teen interns also created a short video for their peers that highlights their favorite resources from across the Library.

Create your National Book Festival experience from programs in a range of formats and an expanded schedule over 10 days this year. The 2021 festival offers a variety of ways to access programs, allowing attendees to tailor their experience and interests to their preferred mode of participation. Festival content will be available online through videos on demand, author conversations in real time and live question-and-answer sessions. There will also be a new podcast series with NPR, a national television special in collaboration with PBS Books for public television stations, two programs hosted on Washington Post Live and some in-person, ticketed events at the Library. Libraries, community centers and attendees are also encouraged to host watch parties and other community events in their local areas. The full schedule is available at

The Library’s National Book Festival was co-founded in 2001 by Laura Bush.

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. Sponsors include: Festival Vice Chair the James Madison Council; Charter sponsors The Washington Post, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities; Additional generous support from the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., Tim and Diane Naughton and Capital Group; Presenting Partner NPR; and Media Partner The New Republic.

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 21-053
ISSN 0731-3527