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The National Book Festival 2003
The third annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of
Congress and hosted by Laura Bush, was held on Saturday, Oct. 4, on the National Mall in
Washington, D.C. The 2003 National Book Festival featured more than eighty award-winning
and nationally known authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers who delighted the
public with their readings and performances. The 2003 National Book Festival attracted a
crowd of more than 60,000 to the National Mall.
"The National Book Festival is a wonderful opportunity for book lovers from across the nation to celebrate the joys of reading and storytelling," said Mrs. Bush. "Whether you're a lifelong reader or a beginning reader, I hope that everyone will...discover new books and inspiring authors."
Two new pavilions, Home & Family and Poetry were added to the 2003 National Book Festival. Renowned chefs Jacques Pepin, who has hosted several shows on PBS television, and Patrick O'Connell of the Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, and Paige Davis and Frank Bielec of the cable television program Trading Spaces were among the authors who appeared in the Home & Family pavilion. Poets from throughout the country read their poems and provided commentary in teh new Poetry pavilion.
Other pavilions included Children, Teens & Children, Fiction & Imagination, Mysteries & Thrillers, and History & Biography. Featured authors included Julie Andrews, avi, Stand and Jan Berenstain, Michael Beschloss, Robert Caro, Stephen Carter, Pat Conroy, Catherine Coulter, Nelson DeMille, Julia Glass, Cassandra King, Walter Dean Myers, James Patterson, Bob Schieffer, and R. L. Stine. Festival-goers brought their own books or bought them at a kiosk on the Mall for signing in the Book Signing Pavilion.
Storybook characters, including favorites from PBS, appeared on stage and strolled the Festival grounds. As part of the National Basketball Association's "Read to Achieve" program, NBA and WNBA stars, including Rebecca Lobo, Tamika Williams, and Bob Lanier, the Hall of Fame center who has written four children's books, were featured readers in the "Teens & Children" pavilion.
In the Storytelling pavilion, eleven performers brought to life the stories of Africa, Scotland, Appalachia, the Cherokee Nation, and other traditions that compromise our national culture and diverse heritage.
Reading programs, book festivals, and literary events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories were all represented and publicized in the Pavilion of the States. In addition, national reading and literacy promotion organizations distributed information about their activities in the Let's Read America pavilion, and Festival sponsors presented a variety of family-friendly reading promotion activities in the companion Let's Read America II pavilion.