Published April 22, 2021

Whether you’re a classroom teacher, librarian, parent, or someone who wants to share a love of reading with the young people in your life, we invite you to check out these resources from the Virginia Center for the Book…

Discover Great Places Through Reading

Discover Great Places Through Reading is a list of books representing the literary heritage of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, updated annually as part of the National Book Festival. Almost all selections are for young readers. Virginia’s 2020 Great Reads selection was The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson.

Watch Kwame discuss his book with librarian Tasha Birckhead, followed by Tasha’s reading of the book on Shelf Life: Great Reads featuring The Undefeated

Route One Reads

Explore books recommended from each Center for the Book along Route One, from Maine to Florida. Annual lists, along selected genres, are shared on the Route One Reads website. Virginia’s 2020 Route One Reads selection was The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. 

Book Arts

Voice-Overs broadsides, exploring words and poetry through art 

Where I’m From: Make your own zine at home

George Ella Lyon’s poem, “Where I’m From,” and more on her I Am From Project.

Virginia Festival of the Book

Watch 2021 Festival events and 2020-2021 Shelf Life events

Watch earlier Shelf Life events via Facebook videos

Festival program topics that may be of interest:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Acts of Exclusion: A Conversation with Tiffany Jana

Being Heumann with disability advocate Judith Heumann

Books for young readers

Little Dreamers with Vashti Harrison

Girls in the World: Middle-Grade Fiction

Coming of Age in YA Fiction

I See Myself: Diversity in Children’s Literature

The Mindfulness Room: A Conversation with Amanda Lynch

Storytime: Monsters & Crafts with Hannah Barnaby & Sarah FitzHenry

We’re Going to Be O.K. with Dr. Leigh-Ann Webb and Ashleigh Webb

Please note: We’re Going to Be O.K. is available for free download here. We have print copies, in English or Spanish, available for classrooms upon request, as supplies last. Write jbkulow@virginia.edu to learn more.

Coming in June 2021: Mack’s Corner

Mack’s Corner, half-hour episodes hosted by Welford “Mack” McLellan, Jr., and made available weekly, each featuring a children’s book and including reading, brief discussion with the author, and more, built around the book’s content. Confirmed titles and authors:

The Girl Who Carried Too Much Stuff by Marc Boston

My Ancestor’s Wildest Dreams by Amanda Lynch

Virginia Poet Laureate Luisa A. Igloria

Colors at First Sight by Vallean Jackson

Definitely Dominguita by Terry Catasús Jennings

Stella Díaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson (please note that Ms. Woodson will not be participating)

Plus many others! Stay tuned for more details.

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