Library of Congress Announces Hispanic Authors Maria Celeste Arrarás and Carmen Agra...

Library of Congress Announces Hispanic Authors Maria Celeste Arrarás and Carmen Agra Deedy Among Award-Winning Authors to Participate in Seventh Annual National Book Festival

The Librarian of Congress and Laura Bush Invite Book Lovers of All Ages to Celebrate the Joy of Reading and Lifelong Literacy on the National Mall on Sept. 29


Washington DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–August 7, 2007–The 2007 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, Sept. 29, 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.

Authors will be on hand to participate in presentations, Q&A sessions and book signings. Maria Celeste’s first children’s book, “The Magic Cane” and Carmen Agra Deedy’s latest work, “Marina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folklore,” will also be available in both English and Spanish for purchase at the festival. Children can meet popular storybook and PBS characters including Maya & Miguel, get an inside look at Scholastic’s Magic School Bus and listen to NBA/WNBA players reading aloud.

“This will be the seventh year of this extraordinary celebration of the joy of reading and the creativity of America’s writers and illustrators,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The National Book Festival brings authors and readers together to share the stories that touch their minds and hearts. Tens of thousands of book lovers see firsthand how reading changes lives and how our country, its citizens and its libraries promote reading in imaginative and inspiring ways.”

The 2007 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 Institute of Museum and Library Services, the James Madison Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; and Contributors Barnes & Noble, the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, Marshall and Dee Ann Payne, NBA/WNBA, PBS, Penguin Group (USA) and Scholastic Inc.

This year about 70 well-known authors, illustrators and poets will talk about their books in the following pavilions: Children; Teens & Children; Fiction & Fantasy; Mysteries & Thrillers; History & Biography; Home & Family; and Poetry.

Participating fiction writers include Joyce Carol Oates and Jodi Picoult. Pulitzer Prize-winning historians David Kennedy and Ken Burns, among others, will appear in the History & Biography pavilion. Authors and illustrators of books for children and teens include Maria Celeste Arrarás, Carmen Agra Deedy and David Wiesner. Popular Mysteries & Thrillers authors include J.A. Jance, Lisa Scottoline, David Baldacci, Deborah Crombie and Stephen L. Carter. Emmy award-winning chief medical correspondent for CNN Dr. Sanjay Gupta; and Cat Cora from the Food Network are but a few of the authors who will appear in the Home & Family pavilion.

The newly appointed U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic will be featured in the Poetry pavilion. Among the poets participating will be Jack Prelutsky, who has been named by the Poetry Foundation as the nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate.

In the Teens & Children pavilion, the national student winners of the Letters About Literature program will read their personal letters to authors who inspired them. Sponsored by the Library’s Center for the Book with support from

Target, this reading and writing promotion program invites young readers in grades 4-12 to write personal letters to authors, past or present, who have changed their views of the world or of themselves. As the project’s corporate sponsor, Target awards six national winners and their parents with a trip to the National Book Festival to share their winning letters with the festival audience.

The Pavilion of the States, sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), will highlight reading programs nationwide and representatives from the states and territories will welcome families and children interested in learning about them.

The Library of Congress Pavilion will feature a variety of interactive family-centered activities illustrating the depth and breadth of the Library’s extraordinary collections available online. Computers will be available for both children and adults to explore the Library’s acclaimed Web site at

In addition to planning a range of activities for this year’s festival on the National Mall, the Library is offering a variety of ways for people around the country to participate in the event online. This summer, the Library will launch the National Book Festival Young Readers’ Online Toolkit ( to bring the festival into libraries, schools and homes across the country. The Toolkit will feature information about National Book Festival authors who write for children and teens, podcasts of their readings and teaching tools and activities for kids.

Podcasts of interviews with Maria Celeste Ararrás and Carmen Agra Deedy will be available to download in both English and Spanish at The Library will also present same-day coverage of the morning presentations on its Web site. All of the authors’ presentations will be available on the Library’s site the week following the festival.

The artist for this year’s festival is Mercer Mayer, whose work brings a magical quality to the 2007 National Book Festival poster. Mayer will be among the authors and illustrators speaking in the Children’s Pavilion. Posters featuring his digital painting will be available free of charge at the festival.

For more information about the National Book Festival, participating authors, and their books please visit

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with more than 134 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. Today the Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on site in its 21 reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning Web site at

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 Registration link at

Library of Congress Announces Hispanic Authors Maria Celeste Arrarás and Carmen Agra Deedy Among Award-Winning Authors to Participate in Seventh Annual National Book Festival