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EpicFest 2023

For the sixth year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools elementary and K-8 students were treated to visits from some of their favorite authors. EpicFest, a free literary festival presented by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, brought in eight nationally known children’s and young adult authors and illustrators, who spoke to students at 16 schools and headlined a daylong literary festival at ImaginOn Nov. 3-4.

Jessica Kim speaking to a class of young students.EpicFest allows authors to share their latest books, experiences and passion for libraries with students to encourage a love of reading and learning.

Jessica Kim, author of Make a Move, Sunny Park!, spoke at Eastover Elementary School to about 60 fourth grade students and fifth grade fans who had read her books in the Battle of the Books reading program.

“I love talking to kids and talking about the power of a story and what it takes to persevere and get there,” Kim said. “I talk a lot about failure – I let them hold my rejection letters – and break down that myth of perfectionism, how easy success seems and how a whole lot of failures didn’t keep me from this.”

Other EpicFest participants were authors Judy Allen Dodson, The Ashe Brothers: How Arthur and Johnnie Changed Tennis Forever; Saadia Faruqi, the Yasmin series; Margaret Peterson Haddix, the Greystone Secrets series; Eleanor Spicer Rice, the Hidden Life books; and illustrators Ashley Belote, Frankenslime; Dare Coulter, An American Story; and Jeffery Boston Weatherford, You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airman.

Read more: Reading and family fun at annual EpicFest