October 26, 2023
(CHAPPAQUA, New York) — The 10th annual Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival featured 180 authors, 30 of whom have faced various challenges due to book-banning bills, according to the festival’s founder and executive director.
Founded by a group of Chappaqua mothers a decade ago, the book festival was held on Saturday, Sept. 30, and featured Mary Pope Osborne, author of the popular “Magic Treehouse” book series. Some of the authors whose books have been banned include Alex Gino, “George,” Kyle Lukoff, “Call Me Max,” Jessica Love, “Julián Is a Mermaid,” Jerry Craft, “New Kid,” and Maulik Pancholy, “Nikhil Out Loud.”
With book-banning bills passed in six states, the festival organizers “had no hesitancy to do whatever we needed to do to push back against what’s going on and make our authors feel supported,” said festival organizer and founder Dawn Evans Greenberg.
The heated nationwide discussion regarding children’s literature in schools and libraries has emphasized the message of the festival. Greenberg said, “I want kids to know that anything they want to read, they’re allowed to read. Whether that’s a cereal box, comic book, MAD magazine, or a graphic novel, it’s their choice, and no one can tell them what they can or can’t read.”
Believed to be the largest annual children’s book festival in the country, children and their parents had the opportunity to attend book signings, listen to author talks, and watch illustrator presentations.