October 18, 2016

From our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Epic Fest

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By Smarty Guest Blogger Melanie Baron, communications and marketing specialist for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation.

My kid loves to read. But until recently, I think she believed that books just hatched.

Until she wrote to her favorite author…and the author wrote back! My daughter wrote again, and received another handwritten reply. And another…and now she thinks they’re pen pals.

Bringing together kids and authors is a magical thing, and it’s what the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation’s EpicFest is all about.

Nationally-recognized children’s and young adult authors and illustrators will spend two days in Charlotte to share their books, their experiences, and their passion for libraries with kids of all ages. On Friday, November 4th the authors will visit some Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools to speak with students. Friday night, two young adult authors will attend an EpicFest event for teens, and Saturday, November 5 is the main event. The authors will be the featured guests at a daylong, FREE literary festival at ImaginOn. Thousands of families will gather for literacy-themed activities including robotics, early learning stations, family cooking, origami, journal making, puppetry, a free book for each child attending, author talks and book signings. Books by the featured authors and illustrators will be available for purchase onsite through Black Forest Books.

This year’s EpicFest authors and illustrators include:

– Tom Angleberger wrote the bestselling Origami Yoda and Inspector Flytrap series, and a hilarious new book, Fuzzy.
– Linda Ashman has written over 25 notable picture books including Rock-A-Bye Romp and the new Little Baby Buttercup.
– Kathleen Burkinshaw tells the story of the bombing of Hiroshima through the eyes of a twelve-year-old in her debut middle grade novel, The Last Cherry Blossom.
– Nancy Cavanaugh is an award-winning author of middle-grade books, including the recent Just Like Me.
– Jessica Khoury is the author of four fantasy books for young adults, including the Corpus Trilogy: Origin, Vitro, and Kalahari. Her latest novel, The Forbidden Wish, is a new take on the story of Aladdin.
– Matt Myers has illustrated over a dozen books for children, including New York Times bestseller Battle Bunny. He has three new titles out this fall.
– LeUyen Pham is an acclaimed illustrator of 80+ books, including Grace for President which premieres onstage this month at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. She is the author/illustrator of a new release, The Bear Who Wasn’t There.
– Adam Silvera writes for young adults. His first novel, More Happy Than Not, was a New York Times bestseller. History is All You Left Me is due in January.
– Tui T. Sutherland brings the world of dragons to life in her New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series for middle-grade readers. Her latest installment, Talons of Power, is due in December.

The most epic part of the whole event is that it can do on a large scale what my daughter’s letter did individually. EpicFest connects kids and families with one another, with books and the people who make them, and with the Library. And that inspires budding readers, writers and storytellers. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

The Details:

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What: EpicFest
When: Saturday, November 5, 2016
Where: ImaginOn, 300 East Seventh St
Want more? Check out Verse & Vino, too, the Library Foundation’s signature fundraising event on November 3.
EpicFest is presented to the community by Wells Fargo, with community partner Read Charlotte. It is made possible through the generous support of many more corporate citizens and individual sponsors. EpicFest was created to remember and honor Jim and Elizabeth (Libby) Preston’s passion for reading and encouraging and instilling a love of reading in children.

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