Young Readers Festival

McGhee Featured as 2020 Young Readers One Book Author

A past Festival presenter, Alison McGhee returns to the Festival of Books in 2020 with two adorable — and famous — characters in tow. The 2020 Young Readers One Book Bink & Gollie: Three for One stars the irrepressible and precocious Bink and Gollie, created by McGhee and Kate DiCamillo, a Newbery medalist and past Festival presenter.

Setting out from their super-deluxe tree house and powered by plenty of peanut butter (for Bink) and pancakes (for Gollie), the girls share three comical adventures involving painfully bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion. While she will be featured in the Young Readers track, McGhee will also lead sessions for adults.

“A versatile writer and a generous mentor for aspiring authors, Alison has been successful writing for children and adults,” Widman said. “We’re excited to have her return.”

In addition to winning the Theodor Geisel Award in 2011 for Bink and Gollie, McGhee’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel Shadow Baby was a Today Show Book Club pick, and her picture book for adults, Someday, was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. A professor of creative writing at Metropolitan State University, McGhee has three grown children and lives a semi-nomadic life in Minneapolis, Vermont and California.

“I was thrilled to hear that the Bink and Gollie books are the Young Readers selection for 2020! My marvelous collaborators Tony Fucile and Kate DiCamillo and I had so much fun making the books together, and I can’t wait to laugh over Bink and Gollie’s antics with kids in South Dakota next year,” she said. 

“From all three of us, thanks for choosing us!”

South Dakota second-graders will receive copies of McGhee's book this spring and meet the author as third-graders during Young Readers events at the 2020 Festival Oct. 2-4, 2020. 

Author Alison McGhee

Alison McGhee leads a writing workshop at the 2017 South Dakota Festival of Books.


About the Young Readers Festival

An extension of our established and successful South Dakota Festival of Books and One Book South Dakota programs, SDHC launched the Young Readers Initiative and Young Readers Festival of Books in 2014 to excite children about books and in turn prevent the common problem of summer reading loss. The program was created to shape powerful learning habits for youth when they are most impressionable; therefore, setting the stage for a lifetime of joy from reading. 

Combining book ownership with face-to-face visits with authors and artists creates the kind of lifelong excitement for reading and writing that we want to achieve.

The Young Readers program is made possible by generous donors, including United Way of the Black Hills, First Bank and Trust, John T. Vucurevich Foundation and Northern Hills Federal Credit Union, who help us provide books to students throughout South Dakota. 

2018 Young Readers Festival featuring Kara LaReau.

Kara LaReau speaks to a large crowd of third graders at the 2018 Young Readers Festival of Books in Sioux Falls. 

2019 Resources: 'Tatanka and Other Legends of the Lakota People' E-Book, Audiobook

Many classes are still enjoying the classroom resources we provided for the selection featured in 2019 — Tatanka and Other Legends of the Lakota People by Donald F. Montileaux. For your convenience, we're providing continued access to these materials. For the E-Book, Audiobook, and other supplemental materials including teacher guides and student activity books, click below.

Subscribe to E-news for More Information

Interested in finding out more about the annual Young Readers Festival of Books? Subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive additional information about the 2020 event in Brookings as it is released. 

What Happens at the Young Readers Festival?

Watch our commercial from the 2019 event to get an idea of what you and your child can expect.