Visit Book Fest and YALLWEST in April

By Michael Berick

Los Angeles Events - Book Fest 2016

Indulge your love of literature this month. PHOTO BY GINA CLYNE PHOTOGRAPHY

New readers and longtime bibliophiles alike will uncover much to love at Los Angeles events this month. April presents both the 21st edition of L.A. Times Festival of Books and the second volume of the Youth and Young Adult Book Festival, better known as YALLWEST.

The weekend of April 9-10, the USC campus (Jefferson Boulevard and Figueroa Street, L.A.) will be stacked with booksellers and book lovers. The Festival of the Books (www.latimes.com/FestivalofBooks) runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday and offers a tremendous opportunity to check out hundreds and hundreds of books and meet a multitude of writers. Stop by the L.A. Parent table, meet the staff and get your face painted!

It’s always fun to wander the festival grounds and see what unexpected discovery you can find. The ever-popular event also offers a diverse and stimulating lineup of author interviews, panel discussions, live entertainment, cooking demonstration and readings. The Festival of Books also always has some great children’s attractions, with Henry Winkler, Mary Pope Osborne, Jane Smiley, Sarah Mlynowski, Cecil Castellucci, Peter Brown and Taye Diggs among those scheduled to appear this year on the Children’s Stage.

YALLWEST (www.YALLWEST.com) takes place from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. April 30 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 1 at Santa Monica High School (601 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica). It has a narrower focus than the Festival Of Books but is still impressive in scope. YALLWEST, which ranks with its sister event YALLFEST as America’s biggest teen and middle-grade book festivals, promises to be even grander this year than last.

Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist Rainbow Rowell and Coretta Scott King Honoree Jason Reynolds will serve as keynote speakers, and Ransom Riggs, Veronica Roth, Pseudonymous Bosch, Lele Pons, Melissa de la Cruz and Richelle Mead will be among more than 100 authors slated to attend. YALLWEST also features a selection of intriguing panels, readings and fun attractions, such as the YA Smackdown variety show, Middle Grade Storyball and the all-author band Tiger Beat. Money from the festival’s book sale proceeds will go to school libraries around Southern California.

Admission to both book fests is free admission, but tickets are required for the Festival of Books’ Indoor Conversations and some YALLWEST events. For complete details visit each festival’s website.

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