Adirondack Family Book Fest’ arrives this August

  • Adirondack Daily Enterprise
  • March 5, 2022

LAKE PLACID — John Brown Lives! and numerous community partners are teaming up to host an Adirondack Family Book Festival at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid.

The festival is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20. The festival will be free, open to all and held outdoors.

The inaugural lineup features 12 nationally-acclaimed authors and illustrators who write for young readers, including several Newbery and Caldecott honorees and New York Times bestsellers.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., they will meet their fans of all ages, read aloud and talk about their work. A youth panel and activities that pair select books with the natural beauty of the John Brown Farm and hands-on artmaking and discovery are also being planned.

Community partners include librarians, booksellers, local authors, teachers and students.

“We are thrilled to work with such a wonderful team to bring the Adirondack Family Book Festival to the John Brown Farm,” said Martha Swan, executive director of John Brown Lives. “It is particularly fitting that this celebration of community, diversity and storytelling be held at the historic site where the abolitionist Brown family lived alongside their Black neighbors of ‘Timbuctoo.’

“We’ve fantasized having a children’s book fest at the John Brown Farm for years,” Swan added, “and a North Elba (Local Enhancement and Advancement Fund) grant in the fall gave us seed money and the confidence that we could pull this off!”

Adirondack and Plattsburgh-based authors Kate Messner, Maxwell Eaton and Amy Guglielmo will be joined by, among others, Kekla Magoon, whose YA nonfiction book “Revolution in Our Time” about the Black Panther Party was a 2021 National Book Award finalist; Jason Chin, winner of the 2022 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in Watercress by Andrea Wang; Rajani LaRocca, whose “Red, White, and Whole” for middle-grade readers was the winner of the runner-up Newbery Honor; and Linda Sue Park is the author of many books for young readers, including the 2002 Newbery Medal winner “A Single Shard” and the New York Times bestseller “A Long Walk to Water.”

“As someone who’s traveled to book festivals around the world, I couldn’t be more delighted to be a part of this amazing celebration of stories right here in the Adirondacks,” said Kate Messner, award-winning Plattsburgh author. “It speaks to the reputation of Lake Placid and our book-loving community that so many brilliant authors and illustrators accepted our invitation to be a part of this inaugural event, and I’m so excited to welcome my colleagues to our beautiful mountains.”

Sarah Galvin, owner of Lake Placid’s Bookstore Plus, said she “couldn’t be happier that the first Adirondack Family Book Festival is on the horizon.”

“Any day filled with stories, authors and illustrators is a gift! To have this lineup of talent coming to the Adirondacks is amazing,” she said.

Bambi Pedu, director of the Lake Placid Public Library, said that she and children’s librarian Karen Armstrong “are looking forward to what we hope is the first annual Adirondack Book Festival encouraging and promoting literacy for everyone to enjoy.”

“Children’s literature is a powerful tool to entertain, enlighten, and connect us all, from childhood to adulthood,” she said.

For more information, or to find out how to support the festival and get involved, visit or email