The 20th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival celebrated American Ingenuity with presentations by more than 120 celebrated authors historians, and poets. About 25,000 people attended the virtual event held on September 25-27, 2020. Some of the featured authors at the virtual Festival included Jason Reynolds, Colson Whitehead, Amy Tan, Sandra Cisneros, and John Grisham. Some of the most viewed videos are of John Grisham, the joint presentation by Kate DiCamillo and Ann Patchett, Colson Whitehead, James McBride, Jenna Bush Hager, Madeleine Albright, Mo Willems, Heather Cox Richardson, N.K. Jemisin and Chelsea Clinton.
The NJ Center for the Book featured picture book Robobaby by NJ-born David Wiesner as the Festival’s Discover State Reads on the Roadmap to Reading virtual Festival platform. Over one hundred people visited the NJ Center’s virtual booth that had a variety of handouts available to download, including an activity sheet to go along with the book Robobaby, a list of previous NJ Great Reads titles, a list of the books people said they couldn’t live without from a National Festival poll in 2019, and information about the Center’s first and second e-book serials for kids by NJ authors and illustrators. Visitors to the booth could also take a poll this year by choosing a book they couldn’t live without from a list of suggested titles. Some of their must-haves were Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
This program is funded in whole or in part by the New Jersey State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent federal agency that grows and sustains a "Nation of Learners" because lifelong learning is critical to success.