The Louisiana Book Festival is holding a host of activities and programs for toddlers to middle graders to teens during its 16th year.
The festival, free and open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in Baton Rouge’s Capitol Park and will feature author talks and book signings, a special Teen Headquarters, storytellers, games, crafts, face painting, balloon animals, live musical performances and special appearances by Llama Llama and Taco Dragon.
“The Louisiana Book Festival is not just for adults," said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser in a news release. "Young people are invited to come to the festival and meet, interact with and get their books signed and personalized by some of the most popular and renowned children’s and young adult authors in the country. It is our hope that the book festival will hopefully inspire the next generation of great Louisiana writers, and they will come back and meet with the future generations at the book festival.”
Authors featured at this year’s festival include Adib Khorram, winner of both the 2019 William C. Morris Award and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature from the American Library Association with his novel "Darius the Great Is Not Okay," and Scott Reintgen, author of the "Nyxia Triad," a 2019-20 Project Lit Book Club selection, and "Saving Fable."
Middle-grade authors include Leslie C. Youngblood with "Love Like Sky," a 2020-21 Louisiana Young Readers' Choice finalist, and Nick Courage, author of "Storm Blown." Also appearing are Jasmine Warga, author of "Other Words for Home," and Mariama Lockington, author of "For Black Girls like Me," both 2019-2020 Project Lit Book Club selections. Other featured authors include Louisiana author and artist Alexis Braud with her book, "Cordelia’s Key," and picture book, "The Hungry Little Gator," and Johnette Downing with "Spooky Second Line."
This year, the festival is celebrating the Little Free Library 10th Anniversary with a children’s program featuring Miranda Paul, author of the recently released "Little Libraries, Big Heroes," with special guest New Orleanian Nikki Leali, one of the heroes featured in the book.
Alton Carter will receive the Louisiana Teen Readers’ Choice award for "Aging Out," and present his newest book, "The Boy Who Survived: A True Story of Hope and Resilience."
In all, more than 50 books for young readers will be featured at the festival. Other offerings returning this year include the Young Readers Pavilion, where children and parents can enjoy children’s authors, storytelling performances, costumed children’s book characters for selfie opportunities, book-related crafts, face painting and balloon animals; and the Teen HQ, featuring bestselling and award-winning young adult authors and activities
“Teaching our young people to be interested in reading from an early age will help to keep our literacy rates up as they are a critical indicator of the economic, cultural, and overall health of any community,” said Rebecca Hamilton, state librarian. “The Louisiana Book Festival not only offers an entertaining festival experience for families of all ages, but it encourages our young readers to become lifelong readers."
For a full list of authors and schedule, visit LouisianaBookFestival.org.