Cover To Cover Book Festivals

By Michael Berick

book festivals

What books will you find at Yallwest? PHOTO COURTESY YALLWEST

Southern California book lovers rejoice at the arrival of April, when two major book festivals come to town.

The 22nd Annual L.A. Times Festival of Books ( transforms the USC University Park campus into a bibliophile’s paradise from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 22 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 23. As regular festival-goers know, the free event will be packed with author appearances, live entertainment, poetry readings and giveaways as well as rows and rows of books. The festival’s popular panels typically require advance registration, so check online for details. The Children’s Stage presents a lineup of great performances and gives young book lovers a chance to meet some of their favorite writers.

But save room on your book shelves, because the Yallwest Book Festival ( comes to Santa Monica the following weekend. Preview events take place from 4-9 p.m. April 28 at the Santa Monica Public Library (601 Santa Monica Blvd.) and the main festival action happens from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. April 29 at Santa Monica High School (601 Pico Blvd.). If the Festival of Books is a large literary shopping mall, Yallwest is more like a boutique. This free YA-focused book fest is great for teens and tweens, but it appeals to readers of all ages. Many of YA’s biggest names will be attending and there will be signings, panel discussions and prizes. Yallwest also offers quirky activities such as Quidditch gaming, a Scrabble tournament, a YA variety show and the Middle School Story Ball (where writers and kids create a story together).

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