Ellie Peterson‘s How to Hug a Pufferfish and Matika Wilbur‘s Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America are representing Washington State at the 2024 National Book Festival!

The Washington Center for Book has selected one youth book and one adult book by Washington authors to represent the state at the 2024 National Book Festival: How to Hug a Pufferfish by Ellie Peterson (Roaring Book Press) and Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America by Matika Wilbur (Ten Speed Press).

Both titles will be part of the National Center for the Book’s Great Reads from Great Places program. Great Reads from Great Places features books and authors representing the literary heritage of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Marianas. For over 20 years this program has included a highlighted youth title from each affiliate center. In 2022, “Great Reads from Great Places” began including titles for adults for the first time.

“We are preparing to attend the wonderful National Book Festival and showcase two very special titles from Washington creators,” said Washington State Librarian Sara Jones. “The two titles chosen: How to Hug a Pufferfish and Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America show the depth, beauty and impact of Washington authors. This year’s choices explore themes of gaining perspective and understanding ourselves, our cultures, and the communities we live in.”

This year’s National Book Festival on Aug. 24 will be held in-person in Washington, D.C., but will include many livestreamed and recorded virtual programs celebrating books and authors. 

About the Books:

How to Hug a Pufferfish
A picture book about a group of underwater friends who learn to ask for permission before showing their prickly, pufferfish pal some love. With its bright, commercial art and unique exploration of a timely topic, How to Hug a Pufferfish provides a straightforward and humorous look at consent and body autonomy for kids.

Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America
A photographic and narrative celebration of contemporary Native American life and cultures, alongside an in-depth examination of issues that Native people face, by celebrated photographer and storyteller Matika Wilbur of the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes.

The National Book Festival Roadmap to Reading is made possible by the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional support from Chief Officers of State Library Agencies.