March 17, 2022

Lehigh Valley Book Fest at BAPL- March 26!

We are very proud to present the Annual Lehigh Valley Book Festival, in partnership with Let’s Play Books Bookstore, to be held in person on Saturday, 3/26, 2022. The festival will host creative and informative programs, including activities for all ages in and around the Lehigh Valley. The Lehigh Valley Book Festival was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and was hosted virtually in 2021. This year’s event is live and in-person at BAPL, with no cost to attend any of the events!

The mission is based on the notion that reading is for everybody – and that people of all ages and interests can find something to spark their imagination, broaden their perspective, and nourish their spirit in a book.

Program Highlights

Opening keynote address by Dorothy Wickenden; the executive editor of The New Yorker and the host of its weekly podcast “Politics and More,” is the author of The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights and the New York Times bestseller Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West, and she edited The New Republic Reader: Eighty Years of Opinion and Debate.

Closing keynote address by Newbery Award winner, Erin Entrada KellyNew York Times–bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. Erin Entrada Kelly’s debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; You Go First, a Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick; Lalani of the Distant Sea, an Indie Next Pick; and Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey which she also illustrated. She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA, and is on the faculty at Hamline University.

Families will enjoy drop-in programming in the Little Golden Story Book Room with special guests that will bring Little Golden Books to life including Captain Marvel, Spiderman, Mirabel, Belle & Tiana. Outdoor events include live music, poetry, and over 30 exhibitors. Sponsored by A Storybook Party 

Schedule of Events

10 a.m. Opening Remarks, Bethlehem Mayor J. William Reynolds and City of Bethlehem’s Director of Equity and Inclusion Janine Santoro.

Opening Keynote: Dorothy Wickenden, Executive Editor of the New Yorker + The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights 

11 a.m. Fiction for Adults. 

Genres We Read vs. Genres We Write, Moderated by Joyce Hinnefeld.

  • Stranger Here Below + Megan Angelo, Followers, Ethan Joella, A Little Hope, Kate Moretti, The Spires and Kate Racculia, Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts

12 p.m. Must-Read Middle Grade (concurrent)

Moderated by Molly Magro, Eyer Middle School Librarian, EPSD

      • Donna Gephart – Abby, Tried & True, Paul Acampora, In Honor of Broken Things , Alison Green Myers – A Bird Will Soar 
      • Matt Phelan, The Sheep, the Rooster & the Duck, Dianne Salerni, Jadie in Five Dimensions, Meera Trehan, The View from the Very Best House in Town

Moderated by Angie Rines, PR & Marketing Director, Easton Public Library

      • Carol Van Den Hende, Goodbye Orchid, Timothy Janovsky, Never Been Kissed and Lisa Roe, Welcome to the Neighborhood

1 p.m. Books We Use, Love, Showcase, and Teach (concurrent)

    • Moderated by: Melissa Kamyab, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Director of Graduate Education Department, Cedar Crest College
    • Donna Gephart, Go Be Wonderful , Katey Howes, Rissy No Kissies , Tara Lazar, Absurd Words , Gina Loveless, Puberty is Gross But Also Really Awesome, Deborah C. Mortimer, Zorah and the Very Big Question and Jess Rinker, Send a Girl! 
    • Moderated by Jordan Sonnenblick,The Boy Who Failed Dodgeball (6/22)
    • Joe McGee, Junior Monster Scouts & Night Frights, Laura Brown, Trillium Sisters, Beth Ferry, Crab & Snail and Fox & Rabbit
    • Jonathan Stutzman, Fitz & Cleo and Llama Destroys the World.

2 p.m.

Picture Book Palooza!

    • Moderator: Jonathan Stutzman, Llama Rocks the Cradle of Chaos
    • Beth Ferry, No Nibbling!, Tara Lazar, BLOOP , Kevin McCloskey, Ants Don’t Wear Pants, Deborah C. Mortimer, Zorah and the Very Big Question, Frank Murphy, A Teacher Like You and Lisa Papp, Madeline Finn & the Therapy Dog

YA/Teens – Everything but the… dragons?(concurrent)

    • Moderated by Theresa Hegel, executive editor, digital content, ASI
    • Jennifer Gilmore, If Only, Robin Gow, A Million Quiet Revolutions, Phil Stamper, Golden Boys, Jordan Sonnenblick, Falling Over Sideways and Devon Taylor, Dagger Hill 

3 p.m. Non-Fiction – Conversation topics for your next cocktail party

    • Moderator:  Rob Dougherty, former manager of the Clinton Bookstore
    • Andy Martino, Cheated: The Inside Story of the Astros Scandal, Danielle Lindemann, True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us , Kurt Maitland, The Infused Cocktail and Alison Seponara, The Anxiety Healer’s Guide.

3:45 p.m. Poetry InterludeThe One Woman Show, by Sydne Clarke

3:50 p.m. Closing Keynote Erin Entrada Kelly, in conversation New York Times best-selling author of many books, including winner of the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe,We Dream of Space (Newbery Honor), Lalani and the Distant Sea, and You Go First. Kelly is touring for her new book, Those Kids from Fawn Creek (Greenwillow, 3/8/22). In conversation with Josh Berk, Bethlehem Library Director, and author of multiple books, most recently Camp Murderface, Dawn of the Deep.

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Let’s Play Books Bookstore is a full-service, general interest independent bookstore serving the Lehigh Valley. Located at 244 Main Street in Emmaus, the shop provides programs books and programming for adults, children, and schools, fostering a sense of community through reading for education and entertainment.

Let’s Play Books Bookstore, 244 Main Street, Emmaus, PA 18049
Contact: Kirsten Hess, 610-928-8600,