Great Reads from Great Places 2024 Announced

The Alabama Center for the Book has selected The Father Goose Treasury of Poetry: 101 Favorite Poems for Children written by Charles Ghigna, and illustrated by Sara Brezzi, to be featured as the Alabama Children’s Great Reads selection, and Southern Rivers: Restoring America’s Freshwater Biodiversity, by Dr. R. Scot Duncan as the Alabama Adult Great Reads Selection for the 2024 National Book Festival.  This year the Festival will return to the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, on Saturday, August 24th, and is free for all to attend.  The festival theme, “ Books Build Us Up, “ celebrates the importance of books and reading for us all.  A selection of programs will be livestreamed, and video of all presentations can be viewed online after the Festival concludes. 

The Father Goose Treasury of Poetry , is a stunningly illustrated treasury of Charles Ghigna’s  best, most-beloved children’s poems to share with young readers as a first introduction to the joy of language and to the enchanted world of books. Young readers and their families will gain an understanding of the wonder and joy of poetry, as well as a positive look at the natural world around them. In the words of Charles Ghigna, “It is the joyous power of poetry that turns listeners into readers and readers into writers.”

–Schiffer Publishing

Southern Rivers, by award-winning nature writer and biologist R. Scot Duncan, is a thoroughly crafted exploration of the perilous state of the Southeast’s rivers and the urgent need to safeguard their vitality. The region’s rivers are the epicenter of North American freshwater biodiversity and are the top global hotspot for important aquatic animals including mussels, turtles, snails, crayfish, and fish, many of which have made important contributions to southern life and culture. Duncan explains the task of managing southeastern rivers and how river water quality affects the daily lives of the millions who hold these historic waterways dear. He shows how managing rivers wisely can meet the needs of biodiversity and humanity both.  

–The University of Alabama Press

Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, is distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book during the National Book Festival.  Each book is selected by a Center for the Book state affiliate or state library and most are for children and young readers. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage. We are proud to select these titles for 2024.

The Alabama Center for the Book supports reading, literacy and other book-related activities in Alabama as well as promotes appreciation of regional writers.  The Center is a founding co-sponsor of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, is a national force for reading and literacy promotion.  A public-private partnership, its sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through its Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit

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