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First Lady Crissy Haslam Participates in the 24th Annual Southern Festival of Books

Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 09:30am

First Lady Crissy Haslam hosts a Read20 Family Book Club event for children and families at the festival

NASHVILLE – First Lady Crissy Haslam hosted a Read20 Family Book Club promotional event today at the 24th Annual Southern Festival of Books. Mrs. Haslam read A.J. Hartley’s Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact, the October Book of the Month, to children at the event and encouraged book club participation, asking families to read together for at least 20 minutes each day. Mr. Hartley joined Mrs. Haslam for the event by reading and talking about his book.

“It was very special to have Mr. Hartley, the author of this month’s Book of the Month, join us in promoting the Read20 Family Book Club today,” said Mrs. Haslam. “Fostering a love for reading and encouraging the joy of literature in children is very important. The book club helps families enjoy reading time together, so that children understand the importance of literacy early in life.”  The Southern Festival of Books is one of the most popular regional literary events in the country, attracting about 30,000 attendees. The festival was first held in Nashville on the second full weekend in October, 1989, and has been held annually on the same weekend since then. The festival celebrates the written word, featuring best-selling and award winning authors to discuss and sign their books. The 2012 roster included Katherine Patterson, Junot Diaz, Gillian Flynn, R.L. Stine, A.J. Jacobs, Judith Viorst and Karen Thompson Walker.

Mrs. Haslam’s Read20 Family Book Club event was among several programs for children during the festival, including BrainQuest challenges, a party for Olivia and The Fairy Princesses and birthday parties for Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog.

 “The Southern Festival of Books enriches the public by promoting literacy in a fun, family friendly way,” said Mrs. Haslam. “It is great to see special programs for children to promote a lifetime of reading, and to see families  come from across the state and country to participate.”

For more information about the Read20 Family Book Club visit,, follow @Read20TN on Twitter, or visit your local public library.

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