Library of Congress Announces Award-Winning Authors Participating In Sixth Annual National Book Festival

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Library of Congress and Laura Bush invite book lovers of all ages to meet award-winning authors, illustrators and poets to the National Book Festival on the National Mall on Saturday, September 30, 2006.

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Readers of all ages can listen to and meet their favorite writers and enjoy a day on the National Mall.

Library of Congress announced award winning authors, illustrators and poets that will participate in the 2006 National Book Festival, an annual event organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush. The festival will be held on Saturday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th streets (rain or shine). The festival is free and open to the public.

More than 70 well-known authors, illustrators and poets will discuss their work at the 2006 National Book Festival in various pavilions, including “Children,” “Teens & Children,” “Fiction & Fantasy,” “Mysteries & Thrillers,” “History & Biography,” “Home & Family” and “Poetry.” Festival goers can have books signed by their favorite authors, and children can meet ever-popular storybook and television characters, such as Arthur The Aardvark, Maya and Clifford the Big Red Dog, who will appear on the festival grounds throughout the day.

“Each year, tens of thousands book lovers attend this national event to meet their favorite authors and celebrate lifelong literacy, which we are also highlighting in a partnership with the Ad Council” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “Now in its sixth year, the National Book Festival presents a wonderful opportunity to see firsthand how reading changes lives and how our country, its citizens and its libraries promote reading in imaginative and inspiring ways."

“The National Book Festival is a great way for families and friends to share in the joys of reading and discover the works of some of America’s most-loved authors,” Mrs. Bush said. “Readers of all ages can listen to and meet their favorite writers and enjoy a day on the National Mall.”

Participating authors include best-selling novelists Khaled Hosseini, author of the “Kite Runner” and Geraldine Brooks, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for her book “March”; novelist and essayist Joan Didion; historians John Hope Franklin and Doris Kearns Goodwin; biographer Taylor Branch (“Martin Luther King”); Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin, winners of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for their biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer; authors of books for children and teens, including Andrew Clements, Stephenie Meyer, Richard Peck, and Louis Sachar; award-winning illustrators Bryan Collier, Betsy Lewin and Mark Teague; Donald Hall, the recently named 14th Poet Laureate of the United States; and poet Dana Gioia, the director the National Endowment for the Arts; best-selling mystery and thriller authors, including Michael Connelly, Lisa Scottoline, Kathy Reichs and Alexander McCall Smith; science fiction award-winner Spider Robinson; and Elmer Kelton, author of more than 40 novels and voted “the best Western author of all time” by the Western Writers of America.

This year, the Library of Congress is also offering a variety of ways for people around the country to participate in the National Book Festival online, including downloadable podcasts, same-day webcasts, and a series of online chats on washingtonpost.com.

For more information about the National Book Festival and the full list of participating authors, visit http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/authors.html.

About The National Book Festival

The 2006 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Mrs. Laura Bush, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 30, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th streets (rain or shine). The festival is free and open to the public.

The 2006 National Book Festival is made possible with generous support from Distinguished Benefactor Target; Charter Sponsors AT&T, The Amend Group and The Washington Post; Patrons AARP, the James Madison Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; and a myriad of contributors. The Junior League of Washington will again contribute hundreds of volunteers to help with the National Book Festival.

A preliminary list of participating authors, illustrators and poets follows. For more information about them and the festival, visit http://www.loc.gov/bookfest.

SPECIAL NOTE: A media repository is available for press to download background materials, high-resolution images, video and audio sound bites, b-roll and other audiovisual resources, as well as to request interviews with participating authors. This information can be accessed via the Press Room link at http://www.loc.gov/bookfest.

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