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‘Power of reading’ to be on display at Penguin Random House Book Fair, March 6-7 at Carroll Community College

The 23nd annual Penguin Random House Book Fair brings low-priced books, award-winning authors and "community through the power of reading,” organizers say.

The free event takes place over two days, Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at Carroll Community College. Proceeds from the event fund scholarships for Carroll students.

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Starting at 3 p.m. Friday, the Babylon Great Hall will be filled with more than 5,000 books at a 20% discount. The sale runs until 7 p.m. Friday and reopens Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is also a silent auction with more than 50 items ranging from wine baskets to a sightseeing flight on a private plane. Bidding opened Thursday and closes Saturday at 3 p.m. Items can be found at events.handbid.com/auctions/book-fair-2020.

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Author James McBride and his new book “Deacon King Kong” headline Friday evening.

Presented by Carroll County Public Library, “An Evening with James McBride” the talk by the author, musician and screenwriter takes place at at 7 p.m. in the Bollinger Family Conference Center, Room K100. To register online go to Carroll County Public Library’s website, library.carr.org/bookfair. Tickets are $25 and include a copy of the book.

McBride’s debut book “The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother,” has been read by millions. And National Book Award-winner “The Good Lord Bird,” is set to become a television series on Showtime. President Barrack Obama awarded McBride a National Humanities Medal “for humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America.”

“Toy Story 4” will be shown at 4:30 and 7 p.m. on the big screen in the Theater in the Scott Center. Tickets are $3.

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Logan (left), 7, Kolby, 8, and their mother Maggie are fascinated with one of Kolby's free books, Daisy Dawson.
Logan (left), 7, Kolby, 8, and their mother Maggie are fascinated with one of Kolby's free books, Daisy Dawson. (Phil Grout / For Carroll County Times)

Saturday includes even more kid-friendly activities. Children’s book author and Illustrator Greg Pizzoli, winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award and two Portfolio Honor Awards from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, will give a book talk at 9:45 a.m.

At noon and again at 1 p.m., CCPL will host a children’s story time in Room L287. Hands-on activities will be spread throughout the fair with plenty for kids who like crafts, STEM and athletic activities. A sensory room will be available for those who need a quiet break from the activity.

While supplies last, there will be free children’s books available in Room M157.

“We are privileged to be the sponsor of this fun and educational event,” said Annette Danek-Akey, Executive Vice President, Supply Chain at Penguin Random House in Westminster, in a news release. “The Book Fair will feature two of our best-selling and award-winning authors and is a great way to showcase the power of books to readers of all ages in our community.”

For the community college, the Book fair brings in tens of thousands to fund education for Carroll students.

“One hundred percent of the event proceeds are used for much needed scholarships, so that our students can ‘be the change’ they want to see in the world,” Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and the College Foundation for Carroll Steve Wantz said.

In the release, President of Carroll Community College James D. Ball said, “Without a doubt, the support of our patrons are at the heart of this event. Your support of the Book Fair will greatly contribute to the college’s mission to empower learners and build community through the power of reading.”

Gemma Didomenico,7, of Westminster leads the way as she and her sister, Fiona, 5, race through the Great Hall wearing their new capes.
Gemma Didomenico,7, of Westminster leads the way as she and her sister, Fiona, 5, race through the Great Hall wearing their new capes. (Phil Grout / For Carroll County Times)

Each year, the hosting partners of the book fair are bolstered by community sponsors and volunteers.

“I wish to personally thank our partner Penguin Random House, our generous sponsors, the dedicated staff at the College Foundation, the Book Fair committee, the Carroll County Public Library, and the many student volunteers who help make this event a great success each and every year,” Ball said in a statement.

The full schedule can be found at www.carrollcc.edu/bookfair.

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