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LA Times Festival of Books – Children and Young Adults Programming

The LA Times Festival of Books is one of the great things to do in Los Angeles.

The LA Times Festival of Books is this weekend on the USC Campus and if you’ve never been, you must check it out. Last year, my son and I went and listened to Times’ Columnist Steve Lopez answer reader questions and talk about his work at the paper. A couple Lopez wrote about was in the audience and talked about how his column had changed their lives.

The LA Times Festival of Books is one of the great festivals in Los Angeles

photo courtesy of the LA Times Festival of Books

This year, the lineup looks equally as inspiring and fun for the whole family. It includes live music, cooking demonstrations, and authors like Bryan Cranston, Virginia and Dave Grohl, Hannah Hart, Margaret Atwood, Roxanne Gay, Cheech Marin, Luis J. Rodriquez, Scott Simon and George Saunders. Barbershop owner Ruebe?n Martinez will receive the Times’ Innovator’s Award for his work that honors the contribution of Latino writers and expands the community of readers throughout Southern California. Martinez opened a bookstore in his Santa Ana barbershop in the early 1990s. It quickly became a cornerstone of the community, evolved into a nationally renowned center of Chicano/Latino literature and art, and lives on today through the Centro Comunitario de Educacio?n – Chapman University’s learning center which houses Martinez’s book collection.

The LA Times Festival of Books is one of the great things to do in Los Angeles.

photo courtesy of the LA Times Festival of Books

The free, outdoor festival is Saturday, April 22 (10am-6pm) and Sunday, April 23 (10am-5pm). Here is a list of the programming for kids. For a complete list of speakers, readings and entertainment, go to

  • Weekend-long programming on the Reading By 9 Children’s Stage will include:
    • Interactive StorySmash panel, turning story time into playtime. Kids will get the chance to play director and give instructions to the story time narrators, as they read, to whisper, sing, slow down, fast forward, high five and add sound effects.
    • Center Theatre Group will perform songs from the musical Into the Woods. Mind the wolf, heed the witch, and honor the giant at this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes and what happens when they really do come true.
    • Storytime with your favorite children’s authors, some of which include:
      • Jon Agee, author of Life on Mars
      • Mac Barnett, author of Triangle
      • Gennifer Choldenko & Dan Santat, author and illustrator of Dad and the Dinosaur
      • Drew Daywalt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit
      • Jon Klassen, author of Triangle
      • Megan McDonald, author of Judy Moody and the Bucket List
      • Danica McKellar, author of Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape
      • Adam Rex, author of Smek for President!
      • David Shannon, author of Duck on a Tractor
      • David Soman, author of Ladybug Girl Gives Thanks

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  • The Festival of Books will feature a variety of panel discussions on the YA Stage over the weekend. Topics will range from Star Wars to graphic novels, and from flights of fantasy to growing up. Participating authors include:
    • Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, authors of Star Wars: Join the Resistance
    • Cecil Castellucci, author of Journey to Star Wars
    • Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, authors of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
    • Victoria Aveyard, author of King’s Cage
    • Marie Lu, author of The Midnight Star
    • Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer
    • Kiersten White, author of And I Darken
    • Faith Erin Hicks, author of graphic novel The Stone Heart: The Nameless City
    • Alyson Noel, author of Unrivaled
    • Margaret Stohl, author of Royce Rolls
    • Jennifer Niven, author of Holding Up the Universe
    • Nicola Yoon, author of The Sun is Also a Star
    • Melissa de la Cruz, author of Alex and Eliza: A Love Story
    • Ellen Hopkins, author of The You I’ve Never Known

Location: University of Southern California (USC)

The USC campus is located approximately 2 miles southwest from Downtown L.A. and 1 mile from the intersection of the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) and the Harbor Freeway (I-110). Numerous paid parking lots ($12-$25) on and around the USC campus will be available for FOB attendees and can be viewed on this map. Limited street parking is also available.



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