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Idaho authors featured at Library of Congress festival

The Idaho Center for the Book at Boise State University has chosen two books to represent Idaho at the 2023 National Book Festival: “The Bright Side” by Chad Otis (youth category) and “The Beadworkers: Stories” by Beth Piatote (adult category). The selection committee included members of the center’s advisory board and staff from Rediscovered Books in Boise. 

National Book Festival

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is a free, annual literary event that brings together bestselling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. This year’s event takes place on Saturday, August 12 in Washington, D.C. Otis and Piatote each participated in a recorded panel conversation that will be available online.

Great Reads from Great Places

Idaho’s featured books are included in the 2023 list of Great Reads From Great Places. The Great Reads initiative is a program of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, which honors the country’s regional literary heritage.

The authors

“The Bright Side” (2023 Rocky Pond Books/Penguin) by Boise author/illustrator Chad Otis tells the story of Otis’s own childhood experience of houselessness. “I’m honored that ‘The Bright Side’ is part of Great Reads from Great Places,” said Otis. “I hope my message of optimism in the face of housing and food insecurity will help kids with similar challenges.”

“The Beadworkers: Stories” (2019 Counterpoint Press) is Beth Piatote’s collection of mixed-genre works focusing on contemporary Native experiences in the Northwest. “I am so delighted that you have selected ‘The Beadworkers’ to represent Idaho, my home state and part of our Nez Perce homelands,” said Piatote. “Thank you for this huge honor.”

Idaho Center for the Book

The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress is a community of 56 affiliated Centers whose mission is to promote reading, libraries and literacy across the country. The Idaho Center for the Book was established in 1993, and is now part of Special Collections and Archives at Albertsons Library. For more information, contact Gwyn Hervochon at