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Top 10 Things Kids Can Do at the Gaithersburg Book Festival

The Festival’s Children’s Village is a place where youngsters can meet authors during presentations, readings & book signings.
Post Date:04/10/2019 1:10 PM

On Saturday, May 18, 2019, literature will come to life for children of all ages at the 10th Annual Gaithersburg Book Festival through a host of interactive activities, workshops and story times, crafts, games and more. The Festival’s Children’s Village, sponsored by Washington Parent, also will be the place where youngsters can meet their favorite authors (and discover new ones) during presentations, readings and book signings.

Here are the top 10 of many things for kids to do at the Festival:

#1 – Join in the 10th anniversary literary costume parade. Come to the Festival dressed as your favorite book character.

#2 – Meet your favorite authors and discover new ones. Dozens of award-winners and best-sellers will be featured in presentations throughout the day, signing books for their fans afterwards. 

#3 – Visit with book characters at The Storybook Nook. Readers dressed as Belle (“Beauty and the Beast”), Jack (“Jack and Beanstalk”), Mouse (“Quiet as a Mouse”) and Horton (“Horton Hears a Who”) will be sharing stories and posing for photo ops.  

#4 – Participate in free workshops. From creating characters to creative writing, with a drawing game show thrown in for extra fun, local writing instructors and published authors will inspire young authors and illustrators.

#5 – Grab a selfie with the Cat in the Hat. mDive in to the world of Dr. Seuss, play games, make crafts and enjoy story time with the Montgomery College Early Childhood Education Club.

#6 – Write and illustrate your own story. Hosted by the Kentlands Community Foundation.

#7 – Get your favorite book character painted on your face. Visit the talented artists of the Quince Orchard High School Color Guard to take on a new identity.

#8 – Play braille games and make tactile bookmarks. Gain an understanding of how children with low and no vision read; hosted by The National Federation of the Blind, Sligo Creek.

#9 – Roll up your sleeves and play word games. Excavate for A, B, Cs, flip the cubes and spell words with Backyard Boggle, play Swat It!, match sounds and compete in the A,B,C bean bag toss with Kiddie Academy of Gaithersburg.

#10 – Find Waldo. Enter to win a fabulous gift basket full of Waldo books and merchandise in our Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt.

The award-winning and best-selling authors & illustrators coming to the Gaithersburg Book Festival this year include:

Children’s Authors

Full biographies and children’s book descriptions can be found here.

  • Karen Leggett Abouraya - “Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words”
  • Zeno Alexander - “The Library of Ever”
  • Diana Harmon Asher - “Sidetracked"
  • Melinda Beatty - Heartseeker series
  • Fred Bowen - Washington Post KidsPost columnist and author of 23 books, including "Lucky Enough"
  • Gennifer Choldenko - Tales from Alcatraz series, the latest of which is "Al Capone Throws Me a Curve"
  • Lulu Delacre - Three-time Pura Belpré Award honoree whose bilingual picture book is “¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z!”
  • Jessica Day George - New York Times best-selling author of the Tuesdays at the Castle series and Rose Legacy series, whose newest book is "The Queen's Secret"
  • Russell Ginns - “Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs”
  • Alan Gratz - New York Times best-selling author of “Refugee” and “Projekt 1065”
  • Alex Graudins - "Science Comics: The Brain: The Ultimate Thinking Machine"
  • Corey Ann Haydu – Middle-grade novel “Eventown” and several Young Adult novels including “OCD Love Story” and “Life By Committee"
  • Andy Hirsch - "Science Comics" titles including “Dogs,” “Trees” and “Cats”
  • Kimberly Willis Holt - "The Lost Boys Gift" and National Book Award winner for Young People's Literature for "When Zachary Beaver Came to Town"
  • Cheryl Willis Hudson & Wade Hudson – Co-authors of“We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices”
  • Hena Khan - Award-winning Pakistani-American author of “Amina’s Voice” and “Bounce Back”
  • Patti Kim - South Korean author of “A Cab Called Reliable,” “Here I Am” and “I’m OK”
  • Minh Lê - Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book “Drawn Together,” illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat
  • Katherine Marsh – Edgar Award Best Juvenile Mystery “The Night Tourist,” and her latest, "Nowhere Boy"
  • Paul Noth - Writer and artist whose cartoons appear regularly in The New Yorker and whose latest book is “How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth”
  • Ellen Oh - Co-founder and president of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), author of the Young Adult fantasy trilogy, the Prophecy series, and editor of "Flying Lessons & Other Stories"
  • Zachariah OHora - Illustrator of The New York Times best-seller “Wolfie the Bunny” and his latest "Bikes for Sale"
  • John Parra - Award-winning illustrator of “Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos” by Monica Brown; his latest “Hey Wall” is with author Susan Verde
  • Barbara Carroll Roberts - “Nikki on the Line”
  • Dave Roman - Author/illustrator of the “Astronaut Academy“ series (winner of Maryland’s Black-Eyed Susan Book Award) and writer of the graphic novels, “Teen Boat! Race for Boatlantis” and “Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery.”
  • Jonathan Roth - Author-illustrator of the chapter book series Beep and Bob
  • Gary D. Schmidt - Best-selling author of “Orbiting Jupiter,” the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book “Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy,” and the Newbery Honor book “The Wednesday Wars” and his most recent, “Pay Attention, Carter Jones”
  • Eliot Schrefer - New York Times best-sellers “Endangered” and “Threatened,” both finalists for the National Book Award, whose latest is “The Lost Rainforest #2 The Gogi's Gambit”
  • Ronald L. Smith - Author of “Hoodoo,” winner of the 2016 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award and 2016 ILA Award for Intermediate Fiction, and whose latest is “The Owls Have Come To Take Us Away,” a Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Matthew Swanson & Robbi Behr - Husband/wife duo who are authors/illustrators of "The Real McCoys: Two's a Crowd"
  • Susan Tan - Author of Cilla Lee-Jenkins series, including "Future Author Extraordinaire” (winner of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Children’s Honor Award), “This Book is A Classic” and “The Epic Story”
  • Jenni L. Walsh - “She Dared: Malala Yousafzai”
  • Deborah Wiles - Finalist for the National Book Award for “Each Little Bird That Sings” and documentary novel “Revolution;” her latest is “A Long Line of Cakes.”

Teen/Young Adult (YA) Authors

Full biographies and descriptions of teen/YA books can be found here.

  • Dhonielle Clayton - "The Everlasting Rose (The Belles)" and co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series
  • Amy Ewing - New York Times best-selling author of "Lone City Trilogy" and the Cerulean series
  • Mia García - “Even If the Sky Falls” and “The Resolutions”
  • Monica Hesse - Edgar Award winner for "Girl in the Blue Coat," and whose current book is "The War Outside"
  • Gareth Hinds - New York Times best-selling author/illustrator of “Beowulf,” “The Odyssey,” “POE: Stories and Poems” and “The Iliad”
  • Jessica Long - 13x Paralympic Swimming Gold Medalist and author of “Unsinkable: From Russian Orphan to Paralympic Swimming World Champion”
  • Lizzy Mason - "The Art of Losing”
  • Maya Motayne - “Nocturna”
  • James L. Swanson - YALSA-ALA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction award for “The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” his latest is “Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin”
  • Megan Whalen Turner - New York Times best-seller and Newbery Honor winner; her most recent book, “Thick As Thieves,” is the fifth book in the Queen’s Thief series
  • Jeff Zentner - New York Times Notable Book “The Serpent King" and whose latest is “Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee”

Writing Workshops

The Children’s Village features free writing workshops for children and teens, led by experts from local writing programs and award-winning authors and illustrators. Details about presenters, age appropriateness and full workshop descriptions can be found on the Children’s Workshops page:

  • Let’s Create Fabulous Fishes! – Susan Stockdale (10:15 a.m. - 11 a.m.)
  • Creating Characters with Character – Jonathan Roth and Paul Noth (11:15 a.m.- 11:45 a.m.)
  • The Story of a Name – Dawn Little (12:15 p.m. - 1 p.m.)
  • A Thousand Words in a Picture – Henry N. Caballero (1:15 p.m .– 2 p.m.)
  • Journal Writing for Young Sports Fans – Fred Bowen (2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
  • Comics Collider: A Drawing Game Show – Dave Roman (3:15 p.m. - 4 p.m.)
  • Make the Story Yours – Robin Stevens Payes (4:15 p.m. - 5 p.m.)

Multilingual Story Time Tent

The Story Time Tent is a place where children and families can enjoy listening to stories in a variety of languages. The full schedule, including languages, will be available by May 1.

The Festival takes place Saturday, May 18, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall, 31 S. Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877. For a complete list of children's & young adult authors, as well as up-to-date details about all the activities and workshops hosted in the Children’s Village, visit the GBF website.

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