Children’s Book Festival announces virtual lineup

Published 8:57 pm Friday, October 2, 2020

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A lineup of 27 best-selling authors highlight the first virtual Virginia Children’s Book Festival. Attendees are encouraged to register for free, unlocking worlds of science fiction, hip hop, illustration and more for the entire month of October.

The Virginia Children’s Book Festival will be marking its first exclusively online festival this year. Organizers believe the online format will increase the accessibility of the event to people outside Virginia.

Interested guests can register by visiting and selecting “Register Now.” Registration is free, and guests can opt to register for either a single week or the entire month. The link is suitable for educators as well as individuals and contains access to helpful, supplemental materials for each author’s sessions.

Among the authors and illustrators making their first appearances this year: Diary of a Wimpy Kid author and illustrator Jeff Kinney and R.J. Palacio, award-winning writer of Wonder, adapted into a film in 2017.

Festival director Juanita Giles said the lineup is a mix of favorites from years past and new authors eager to share their work with children across Virginia —and this year, across the country.

“We’ve had to reimagine how to deliver the book festival virtually this year,” Giles said, “but our authors and illustrators have really taken that challenge head-on. We have some really exciting programs lined up —each one with an interactive element that will get children involved in reading. Nothing will take the place of the in-person festival, but we can’t wait to welcome favorites like Todd Parr and LeUyen Pham back, while also introducing our festival-goers to R.J. Palacio, Brad Meltzer, and Jeff Kinney. It’s going to be a fantastic month.”

This year’s festival will focus on four main weeks, starting with science fiction and thriller, graphic novel and fantasy, followed by hip hop and more, and ending with a week dedicated to illustration.

The 2020 Virginia Children’s Book Festival Lineup is:

• Arree Chung – Ninja series, The Danger Gang

• Beth Revis – Shades of Earth, A World Without You, Across the Universe 

• Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos – Ordinary People Change the World series

• Bryan Collier – Trombone Shorty, Martin’s Big Words

• Gennifer Choldenko – Al Capone series, Orphan Eleven

• Janae Marks – From the Desk of Zoe Washington, A Faraway Truth

• Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Rowley Jefferson series

• John Marciano – Klawde series, The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield

• Kazu Kibuishi – Amulet series

• Lamar Giles – The Last-Last Day of Summer, Fake ID

• Laura Lee Gulledge –  Page by Paige, Will & Whit, The Dark Matter of Mona Starr

• LeUyen Pham – Princess in Black illustrator, Vampirina Ballerina illustrator, Outside, Inside

• Malik-16 – Hip-hop artist, collaborator on Let Me Hear A Rhyme

• Meg Medina – Merci Suarez Changes Gears (Newbery Award winner), Burn Baby Burn, Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away

• R.J. Palacio – Wonder, Auggie and Me

• Mike Curato – Little Elliot series, Flamer

• Mike Maihack – Cleopatra in Space series

• Russell Ginns – Samantha Spinner series

• Jay Cooper – Robots series

• Sophie Blackall – Hello Lighthouse (Caldecott Award winner), If You Come To Earth

• Terri Libenson – Invisible Emmy, Positively Izzy, Becoming Brianna

• Tim Ering – The Story of Frogbelly Ratbone, The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling

• Todd Parr – The I Love You Book, The Sister Book

• Torrey Maldonado – What Lane?, Tight

• Victoria Jamieson – Roller Girl, All’s Faire In Middle School

• Shellice Beharie – Prince and His Mother’s Crown