Young Readers Festival

Virtual 2020 Young Readers South Dakota Festival of Books Videos

Below are seven Young Readers author/illustrator videos — FREE for teachers, librarians, and parents/guardians to access. These videos will remain available for viewing through at least October 31, unless otherwise noted.

The Virtual 2020 South Dakota Festival of Books has ended. Presentations will be available for viewing at

Alison McGhee

"Bink & Gollie: Three for One: Creating the 2020 Young Readers One Book" – McGhee talks about how Bink & Gollie came to be and answers questions from South Dakota students – focused on 3rd grade

Brenda Child

"Dreaming Up Bowwow Powwow" – Child answers questions about the creation of her bilingual picture book; viewers can also access two readings of the book - 2nd grade and up


Angelica Shirley Carpenter & Edwin Fotheringham (with Jennifer McIntyre)

"Writing and Illustrating The Voice of Liberty" –Carpenter (author) and Fotheringham (illustrator) show how the words and pictures in their book evolved and answer questions about their creative process – 2nd grade and up

Helen Frost

"I See the Campanile: How Childhood Memories Find Their Way into My Stories" – Frost, a Brookings native, shows photos and shares childhood memories that influenced her poetry books, especially Blue Daisy and Applesauce Weather – 2nd grade and up

Suzanne Hovik Fuller

"Researching & Writing The Girl Who Moved to the Town that Wasn't There" – Fuller talks about using primary sources like newspapers to research her book about the founding of the town of Egan in Dakota Territory – 4th grade and up

Steve Sheinkin

"Making History Fun: How I Research and Write My Books" – Sheinkin uses examples from three of his books to show how he finds facts and organizes them into book form – 4th grade and up, especially good for middle school

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. 

Download Bink and Gollie Teacher's Guides!

Candlewick Press has prepared guides for teachers who will be bringing Bink and Gollie to their classrooms. Click below to download them for free!

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. 

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.