It’s a wrap: the Texas Book Festival

The Tart family including Nathan (dad) carrying Parker, 2 and mom Kate walking with Kennedy, 5, attended the festival.   The Texas Book Festival took place in and around the Texas Capitol on Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18th, 2015. The festival includes interviews, book readings, book signings by authors, book sales, entertainment, exhibitors, and live music.  LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Tart family including Nathan (dad) carrying Parker, 2 and mom Kate walking with Kennedy, 5, attended the festival. The Texas Book Festival took place in and around the Texas Capitol on Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18th, 2015. The festival includes interviews, book readings, book signings by authors, book sales, entertainment, exhibitors, and live music. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Texas Book Festival always has a wide variety of free events, from cooking to music to children’s activities to serious conversations about current affairs in the C-SPAN 2 Tent. But this year, it was especially gratifying to see hundreds and hundreds of kids and their parents putting down their cell phones and actually taking time to look at books.

Part of this probably has to do with the excellent lineup of children’s authors who attended this year’s events. Top among them were Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, and Taye Diggs, the actor and author of “Mixed Me.”

Other top kids’ authors were Avi, Monica Brown, Xavier Garza, Katheryn Russell-Brown, Bob Shea, Meg Medina, Kevin Henkes, Joe Cepeda, Edward Carey, Laurie Ann Thompson, Sean Qualls, Salina Yoon, John Rocco, Todd Tarpley, Tad Carpenter, Jonah Winter, Patricia Vermillion, Jared Chapman and Joel Nakamura. But there were many more top young-adult and children’s authors at various venues around the state Capitol.

Part of this year’s success was certainly related to programming, but the weather cooperated as well.

On the adult side, one of the biggest events was the appearance of Margaret Atwood, whose latest is the dystopian “The Heart Goes Last.” She ended up signing copies of her book for about two hours, as the line stretched around the signing tent.

Another big seller was Sandra Cisneros’ memoir, “A House of My Own.” Her event at the Central Presbyterian Church was packed.

To see lots of American-Statesman photos of the event, visit austin360.com/books.


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