AJC Decatur Book Festival: 5 can’t-miss family-friendly events


Pat Conroy tribute keynote event, 8 p.m. Sept. 2 at Emory’s Schwartz Center.

Dav Pilkey kidnote event, 5 p.m. Sept. 2 at Decatur High School’s Performing Arts Center.

Festival, 9:30 a.m.-6:15 p.m. Sept. 3; 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 4.

All events free; tickets required for keynote and kidnote events. www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Take the AJC guide to the festival with you on your phone. Daily schedule, editor’s picks, photos and video. Go to ajc.com/dbfguide.

The AJC Decatur Book Festival will once again give readers a reason to look forward to Labor Day weekend. More than 300 authors will participate in events and panels over three days during the 11th annual festival.

This Labor Day weekend tradition isn’t just for grown-ups, however.

Spaces such as the Sycamore Family Zone and Teen Stage will provide young authors and readers a chance to interact and share their experiences regarding their favorite fiction and nonfiction works.

>> Browse or search the full AJC Decatur Book Festival Schedule <<

From a children’s keynote (kidnote) address to two parades, here are our five can’t-miss family-friendly events to attend during the AJC Decatur Book Festival:


The kid-friendly version of the AJC Decatur Book Festival’s keynote event, the kidnote will feature “Captain Underpants” creator Dav Pilkey as the speaker. In addition to promoting his new graphic novel, “Dog Man,” Pilkey’s kidnote event will feature appearances from his new character and Captain Underpants.

Take pictures with the characters, enter to win prizes and more.

Reserve free tickets from Decatur’s Little Shop of Stories by calling 404-373-6300 as soon as possible.

Pilkey’s story is an inspiring one. The comic book author created “Captain Underpants” in the second grade after suffering from ADHD, dyslexia and behavioral problems that would often result in him being put out of class.

5 p.m. Sept. 2. Free (ticket required). Decatur High School’s Performing Arts Center, 310 N. McDonough St., Decatur. www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Children’s parades

Families will have a chance to dress up and attend two parades during the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

Give your kids a good reason to rise early that weekend by encouraging them to dress up as their favorite historical figure on Saturday (Sept. 3). Lineup begins at the Community Bandstand on the Decatur Square at 9:30 a.m.

Kids are asked to dress as their “nerdiest selves” and line up at the Decatur Community Bandstand at 11:30 a.m. Sunday (Sept. 4).

Both parades will end at the Decatur Recreation Center, where the Children’s Stage will be located.

You don’t have to dress up to participate in either parade.

9:30 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 3), 11:30 a.m. Sunday (Sept. 4). Free. Community Bandstand at Decatur Square, 101 E. Court Square, Decatur. www.decaturbookfestival.com.

‘Never Forget’

Authors will present books on historical tragedies, including Sept. 11 and World War II, prompting youths to share what they know, and how we as a society can learn and heal from these shared traumas.

Jewell Parker Rhodes (“Towers Falling”), Nora Raleigh Baskin (“Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story”) and local author Robert Weintraub (“No Better Friend”) will visit the Teen Stage to participate in this event.

11 a.m. Sept. 3. Free. Teen Stage, 101 W. Ponce de Leon Plaza Ave., Decatur.

‘Message in a Book’

Three local artists will share their debut picture books, including Natalie Nelson, author of “The King of the Birds,” inspired by the life of Flannery O’Connor, and Dori Kleber and Acree Graham Macam.

Take your young kids to the Children’s Stage to experience how magical books can be while supporting local authors during this “Message in a Book” discussion.

1:45 p.m. Sept. 3. Children’s Stage at Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St., Decatur.

YA Truth or Dare

Organizers debuted YA Truth or Dare last year. It was successful, so they’re bringing it back at this year’s festival.

Young Adult authors Terra Elan McVoy (“Being Friends With Boys”), Adam Silvera (“More Happy Than Not”), Jeff Zentner (“The Serpent King”), Beth Revis (“Across the Universe” series) and Jason Reynolds (“When I Was the Greatest”) will participate in a game of truth or dare in front of an audience of their supporters and festival attendees.

The game will be moderated by Little Shop of Stories bookseller Kimberly Jones.

5 p.m. Sept. 3. Free. Teen Stage, 101 W. Ponce de Leon Plaza Ave., Decatur. 

READ MORE: Where to meet cookbook authors and food writers at the AJC Decatur Book Festival

>> Browse or search the full AJC Decatur Book Festival Schedule <<

Find more top events at the Decatur Book Festival

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.