Hispanic Heritage Month Events You Can’t Miss!

Let’s celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, with these 5 literary events across Texas and highlight the history, contribution, and cultural wealth of the Latinx community. Thank you Austin Public Library, Book People, and Humanities Texas for your commitment to lifting Latinx voices year round!

1. Spanish Language Story-Time at Austin Public Library: This year round resource highlights the community cultural wealth of the Latinx community.


2. Virtual event at Book People: My Two Border Towns

BookKids Presents: “A picture book debut by an award-winning author about a boy’s life on theU.S.-Mexico border,visiting his favorite places on The Other Side with his father, spending time with family and friends, and sharing in the responsibility of community care.”


3. Exhibition: In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César Chávez

Humanities Texas presents this traveling exhibition with thirty-eight photographs paired with excerpts from Chávez’s
dynamic speeches and authoritative writings.



4. Virtual event at Book People: Cuba in My Pocket

BookKids Presents a conversation about Cuba in My Pocket by Adrianna Cuevas: “A middle grade historical novel about a twelve-year-old boy who leaves his family in Cuba to immigrate to the U.S. by himself, based on the author’s family history.”


5. Exhibition: Voces Americanas: Latino Literature in the United States

This exhibition captures a quarter century of Hispanic publishing
through books, movie stills, public presentations, and illustrations.




BONUS UPDATE: We have more exciting events to share for this October. Check them out!

6. Hispanic Reading Room Virtual Programming

Join the Library of Congress in a webinar celebration of children’s and YA Latin American and Latinx literature, featuring Reading Rock Stars authors Raúl The Third and Sili Recio!

7. ¡Se Ha Dicho! Exhibit Reception

Join the reception to meet the curator and artists of ¡Se Ha Dicho! Exhibit at the Austin Central Library.

8. Viva Frida! Storyteller Blanca Reyna as Frida Kahlo

Come learn about the woman, the artist, the myth, and the mystery at Duncanville Pubic Library.

Texas Monthly presents: BEING TEXAN

Texas Monthly is a proud sponsor of the Texas Book Festival. We’re excited to announce its new book, Being Texan, written by the editors of Texas Monthly!

Texas, our Texas. It’s big, it’s boastful, it’s always in the news. But what do you really know about the Lone Star State? Whether you’ve felt the lure of the vast Texas sky, grew up in Texas, or just want to make sense of the place, Being Texan will give readers an illuminating look at Texas in all its beauty, vastness, and diversity.

Pre-order your copy today!

Sneak Peek: 15 authors coming to TBF 2021

The Texas Book Festival is excited to unveil fifteen authors joining the weeklong hybrid Festival this fall.

The Festival will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead, Michener Center for Writers instructor Elizabeth McCracken, bestselling novelist and 2016 Kirkus Prize finalist Amor Towles, National Medal of Arts recipient and 2005 Texas Writer Award recipient Sandra Cisneros, bestselling children’s author R. J. Palacio, and many more.

Starting October 23, the weeklong hybrid Festival will include a robust, diverse lineup of established, emerging, and debut literary talent for readers of all ages. TBF’s full lineup will be completed and revealed later this summer. See the full press release.

Order your copy! Find all of the sneak peek authors’ books at BookPeople.

The list of the fifteen sneak peek authors includes:

Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World
Sandra Cisneros, Martita, I Remember You / Martita, te recuerdoMary Gaitskill, The Devil’s Treasure
Gabriela Garcia, Of Women and Salt
Elizabeth McCracken, The Souvenir Museum
Maggie Nelson, On Freedom: Four songs of Care and Constraint
R.J. Palacio, Pony
Raj Patel, Inflamed
Don Tate, Pigskins to Paintbrushes
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
Sergio Troncoso, Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in Between WorldsColson Whitehead, Harlem Shuffle
Cecily Wong, Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide
Lawrence Wright, The Plague Year

Welcome New TBF Board Members

The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to welcome five new members to our Board of Directors. Join us in welcoming Dalton YoungAndrea ValdezAnna HargroveGrant Loveless, and Carlos Y. Benavides IV. Our Board of Directors play a crucial role in advancing the TBF’s strategic vision and mission, overseeing our financial resources, and ensuring the sustainability and vitality of our programs.

We are proud to have exceptionally hands-on board members. From lending a hand in our Reading Rock Stars classrooms to moderating sessions at the Festival to reviewing grant applications and much more, our Board is a big part of what makes the Texas Book Festival the successful, far-reaching organization that it is. These new members each bring an impressive array of talents and rich experience to our board, and we look forward to working with them in the coming years.

Arts & Letters Live: Virtual Event with Lily King and Chang-rae Lee

Join Texas Book Festival’s Executive Director Lois Kim in a conversation with authors Lily King and Chang-rae Lee on Monday, March 22 at 7 p.m. CST.

Lily King’s Writers & Lovers follows Casey—a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist—in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.

In Chang-rae Lee’s My Year Abroad, Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese-American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and he is pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.

See full virtual event details and ticket purchasing on the Dallas Museum of Art website.


TBF Authors Nominated for NAACP Awards

The Texas Book Festival sends a heartfelt congratulations to the authors nominated for the 52nd NAACP Image Awards. The awards ceremony will air on BET Saturday, March 27 at 8:00 PM ET, and non-televised award categories will live stream between March 22 and 26. 

Among the books nominated this year are many penned by authors who’ve presented to Texas Book Festival audiences throughout the years, including Michael Eric Dyson (TBF 2016), Ibrim X. Kendi (TBF 2019), Walter Mosley (TBF 2018, 2014), Barack Obama (TBF 2006), Tochi Onyebuchi (TBF 2019), Jason Reynolds (TBF 2017), Eric Velasquez (TBF 2019), and Jacqueline Woodson (TBF 2018). 

Three of the nominations are for books featured at the TBF 2020 Virtual Festival:

The full list of nominees can be found here and below.

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction

Black Bottom Saints by Alice Randall 

Lakewood by Megan Giddings

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosley

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction

A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Berry and Kali Nicole Gross

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Driving While Black by Gretchen Sorin

Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson

We’re Better Than This by Elijah Cummings

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author

A Knock at Midnight by Brittany Barnett 

Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World by Cole Brown 

Lakewood by Megan Giddings

The Compton Cowboys by Walter Thompson-Hernandez

We’re Better Than This by Elijah Cummings 

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography

A Most Beautiful Thing: The True Story of America’s First All-Black High School Rowing Team by Arshay Cooper

A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Crown)

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice by Deborah Draper

The Dead Are Arising by Les Payne and Tamara Payne

Willie: The Game-Changing Story of the NHL’s First Black Player by Willie O’Ree

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional

Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Space by Valerie Harrison

Living Lively by Haile Thomas

The Black Foster Youth Handbook by Ángela Quijada-Banks

The Woman God Created You to Be: Finding Success Through Faith–Spiritually, Personally, and Professionally by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Vegetable Kingdom by Bryant Terry

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry

Homie by Danez Smith

Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry by John Murillo

Seeing the Body by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

The Age of Phillis by Honorée Jeffers

Un-American by Hafizah Geter

Outstanding Literary Work – Children

I Promise by LeBron James, Nina Mata

Just Like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan, Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice by Nikki Grimes and Laura Freeman

She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm by Katheryn Russell-Brown and Eric Velasquez

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta and Frank Morrison

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginningby Ibrim X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

This Is Your Time by Ruby Bridges

Thank you, Reading Rock Stars Dallas & Fort Worth!

By Josephine Yi, School & Community Programs Intern

Last week, we made some exciting virtual visits to elementary schools in Dallas and Fort Worth for our Reading Rock Stars program. Students got to meet authors and illustrators: Kelly Starling Lyons, Cozbi Cabrera, Monica Brown, Sili Recio, Don Tate, Isabel Quintero, Zeke Peña, and Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. These storytellers shared their personal narratives and valuable advice for our future authors and illustrators. 

Kelly Starling Lyons (author of Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon) described her experience growing up as a young girl reading books: “Reading was like dreaming… I liked books about everything: fairies, astronauts, folktales, fables. But I realized what I was missing in these books was myself.” She reminded our Reading Rock Stars that their voices matter and prompted them to work hard, use their imagination, and have faith in themselves. Don Tate (author and illustrator of William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad) walked us through how he illustrated his own books and let us in on his writing process. His books celebrate many different black historical figures and he shared the secret to becoming a great illustrator- practice! Don encouraged our Reading Rock Stars by saying “use your special language, it’s the personality you leave on each page.” Cozbi Cabrera (author and illustrator of Me and Mama) began her conversation with our Reading Rock Stars by asking them to join her in singing Good Morning to You and engaged them in an interactive read-aloud. Her mindful communication with students acknowledged their curiosity and agency. 

Thank you to all of our authors and illustrators in Dallas and Fort Worth for speaking to the importance of remembering, honoring, and uplifting our communities, the heroes in our own personal lives, and the ones who have fought for racial equity throughout history. This Black History Month, one way we can honor black achievement is by exploring the virtual exhibits currently on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture! You can also join the celebration by sharing these activity choice boards with kids in your community. 

Reading Rock Stars DFW, Choice Boards

We also want to say thank you to librarians at our six participating schools. We see your hard work and feel proud to be part of your team. Can’t wait to be back on your campus next year! Thank you to all our generous sponsors, including H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Texas Cultural Trust, The Miles Foundation, Thomas M., Helen McKee & John P. Ryan Foundation, and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation.

Amplify the Texas Book Festival!

Books Connect Texans

The Texas Book Festival is participating in Amplify Austin to help fund our year-round literary programs. We strive every day to inspire Texans of all ages to love reading through Real Reads, Reading Rock Stars, and Texas Library Grants. Schedule your donation to the Texas Book Festival through Amplify Austin!


Real Reads

Real Reads brings critically acclaimed and popular YA authors like Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Nic Stone to middle- and high-schools students. Not only do the students get their own new, hardcover copies of the books, but they get to meet the authors! These students participate in a book club curriculum leading up to the Texas Teen Book Festival or Festival Weekend, where they get a private session with the author to ask ALL their questions. Real Reads is in Austin and Dallas.

Reading Rock Stars

Since the program began, the Texas Book Festival has given out more than 131,900 books in Title I public elementary schools.  The Reading Rock Stars program is available to Title I Elementary schools in Austin, the Rio Grande Valley, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and Aldine. More than a one-day author visit, we work with schools ahead of time with curriculum guides, follow-up to determine impact, and commit to each school for three year. Watch this Reading Rock Stars video to learn more about the program!

Texas Public Library Grants

The Texas Book Festival was founded in part to support Texas libraries as invaluable community resources. With these crucial funds, libraries purchase the books needed by their unique community, whether large-print books, bilingual board books, or just new fiction. Since 1996, the organization has funded 1,169 grants totaling over $3 million to 600+ libraries in every corner of the state.


Schedule your donation at https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/texasbookfestival and change lives through literature and literacy. Happy reading!

Follow our progress and all Texas Book Festival news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. #txbookfest

Applications for 2020 Library Grants are now open!

Libraries across Texas can now apply for a 2020 grant to help expand their library collections and share the diversity and breadth of literature with their communities.

These Texas Book Festival Collections Enhancement Grants are made possible by funds raised at the annual Festival and through TBF’s generous donors. Since 1996, the organization has funded 1,169 grants totaling over $3 million to 600+ libraries in every corner of the state. Read more here to see which Texas libraries received grants in 2019.

The 2020 application is now available, and the deadline has been extended to Friday, May 15. Please contact bookfest@texasbookfestival.org with any questions. Download the application here.

Visit our library grants page for more information!

Tell us about your Festival experience!

Booklovers! We are so grateful to you for making this year’s Festival one of the best yet. With plenty of sunshine, engaging conversations, and a buzzing Congress Avenue, the 2019 Texas Book Festival was a success. We could not do any of this without you!

We’d like to hear your thoughts on this year’s Festival. What did you think about our lineup and activities? Where did you spend most of your time? What was your experience like?

Take our survey here for a chance to win the above grab bag, which includes a #TXBOOKFEST tote, a Festival pencil bag, and seven books from this year’s amazing authors, including Stephen Harrigan, Merrit Tierce, and Rodrigo Márquez Tizano. We want to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience at TBF, so your feedback will help us plan an even better Fest next year.

We can’t wait to hear from you!