The second annual OMG (Oh Middle Grade!) BookFest took place on May 18 through 19 at Castro Elementary, a title I school in Denver. Over the course of the two-day celebration, middle grade authors visited a total of 1,500 students; with the help of Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver Arts Venues, and other sponsors 3,500 books were donated to young readers in the Denver area. “The OMG Bookfest ignited an ember in students into a full-blown blaze of reading excitement and appreciation,” said Robert Villarreal, Castro Elementary School principal.

On May 19, in conjunction with OMG BookFest, Tattered Cover hosted the inaugural Colorado Children’s Book Festival, a free public event that brought together 20 authors for a day of interactive sessions and signings at the bookstore. We’ve compiled a selection of highlights from the festivals. All OMG photos were taken by Victor D. Ravell, and all Colorado Book Fest photos were taken by Curtis Tucker, Tattered Cover.

OMG BookFest

The OMG authors greeted students during the opening presentation at Castro Elementary.

Kids signed National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jacqueline Woodson’s reading wall.

Adele Griffin, author of the Oodlethunks series, and fans unleashed their inner dinosaurs.

Local author Avi (standing) delivered a toast, welcoming all of the participating authors to Denver.

Colorado Book Fest

Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly and a fan discuss the definition of a word for their Scrabble game.

Sarah Mlynowski (l.) and Lauren Myracle, co-authors of the Upside-Down Magic series, signed books. Mlynowski is one of the founders of OMG BookFest.

(From l.): Authors David Bowles, Christina Soontornvat, and Shannon Hale participated in the high wire act, in which they performed an improvised adaptation of a classic fairytale.

Varian Johnson (The Parker Inheritance) and Courtney Sheinmel (The Kindness Club series) got ready to meet fans.

All 20 writers participating in the Author Circus gathered for a celebratory dinner.