Fans gather for National Book Festival


Fans listen to Lois Lowry in the National Book Festival

Fans listen to Lois Lowry in the National Book Festival.

The 12th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival took place on Sept. 22 and 23. The event featured more than 100 authors, illustrators and poets, as well as reading activities, book sales and author signings on the National Mall.

The event, which was free to the public, was open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. Along with the book genre pavilions, the festival also offered other special programs. These included Pavilion of the States, featuring specific works of writing from across the country and Let’s Read America, which focused on family reading. The Library of Congress pavilion, which offered research tools, and a Barnes and Noble’s Book Sales pavilion were also in the mix.

Inside many of the pavilions, authors from different genres spoke about their writing experiences and answered questions from the audience. Many authors of popular teen novels, such as “Goosebumps’” R.L. Stine and “The Giver’s” Lois Lowry, were also present.

“I always used to go to the festivals, but this year, it didn’t have as many authors as I was interested in,” said junior Hannah Hauptman, who is from the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program in Arlington. “I thought a good way to still get involved was to volunteer at the festival.”

Other volunteers in bright pink and green T-shirts could be seen floating around the Mall, offering assistance. Their jobs ranged from handing out information guides, maps and posters, to answering specific questions about the event. Authors and illustrators could also be seen riding to and from their pavilions in golf carts.

“It’s been really fun so far,” Hauptman said. “People have been friendly, and it’s been a great experience.”