The 10th annual Random House Book Fair will feature about 1,300 titles for sale from a variety of publishers, three national authors and a new Family Literacy Resource Center.
"The book fair is a two-pronged event," said Steve Wantz, Carroll Community College Foundation executive director. "We're supporting and encouraging literacy in our community, and it's a fundraiser for our foundation, with 100 percent of the money going back to the students."
The event starts at 6 p.m. Friday with a screening of the Disney family movie Cars in the Scott Center Theater at the 1601 Washington Road campus in Westminster.
Admission is $2 a person or $7 a family (two adults with children 12 and younger). Tickets will be sold at the door and will include children's giveaway bags with a free atlas.
The book fair will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the college's Great Hall. WBAL-TV news anchors and Book Fair honorary chairs Stan Stovall and Mindy Basara will welcome visitors and introduce the guest authors.
Three national authors will headline this year's event with talks and book signings: Steve Berry, Jennifer Holm and Chris Bohjalian.
Berry will speak at 10:15 a.m. Saturday in Scott Center Theater. The lawyer and author will discuss his book The Templar Legacy, which debuted at No. 4 on the New York Times best-seller list.
Jennifer Holm, a children's author, and her brother, Matt Holm, an illustrator, will discuss Babymouse: Rock Star, the fourth book in their Babymouse series, at 10:45 a.m. in the student center.
"It will be exciting to see how a book comes off from the writer and the illustrator together," Wantz said of the sister-brother team.
Bohjalian will talk about his 11th book, The Double Bind, due out in February, at 11:30 a.m. in Scott Center Theater.
"The book fair is a great time to come and listen to the authors and get an autographed book," said Jim Welkos, director of human resources at Random House. "The authors are always so excited to come."
About 40 authors from around the region will display and sell their books and talk to visitors. An additional 20 exhibitors will offer products and services supporting literacy.
"We've really expanded the book-sale area because of the feedback we've gotten," Wantz said. "We're expanding into another room and expanded about 20 percent more titles, to 1,300 titles, in every genre you can imagine."
Books are 20 percent off the publisher's price. Those buying a book get a free Random House book bag, Welkos said.
With a push to bring young families into reading, Wantz said, the book fair offers many children's activities.
New this year is a Family Literacy Resource Center, staffed by eight professionals who will offer help to families, especially those with young children, on how to get the little ones interested in reading at an early age, what to read and how to pick reading material for them, Wantz said.
Random House donates one book for every child attending the fair. Welkos said books for all ages will be available for children to choose.
More than 500 youngsters entered this year's Student Writing Contest, and the winners, who will be announced Saturday, will read from their works during the day.
This year's children's storyteller will be a guitarist, "who will sing a book as well as read a book," Wantz said.
Costumed characters from stories published by Random House will stroll the Great Hall.
Bear Branch Nature Center will hold animal workshops with birds of prey and reptiles.
A Moon Bounce, rock climbing, animal balloons, face-painting, a bookmark craft, and kids' workshops will also be offered. All-day admission to the Kids Area is $2.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Carroll Community College students throughout the day.
Information: 410-386-8168 or 410-386-8150.