The Library of Congress held its National Book Festival in person this year on Saturday September 3, 2022 in Washington DC for the first time since 2019. This year’s Festival features more than 120 authors, poets and writers to celebrate the festival theme, “Books Bring Us Together.”

Every year each of the Affiliate Centers for the Book chooses a children’s book that in some way represents its state’s literary heritage as a “Great Read from Great Places.” The author may have been born or lives in that state, or the book is set in that state, or there is some other connection. This year the Affiliates chose an adult book as well.

The New Jersey Center for the Book selected The Singer and the Scientist by Lisa Rose, illustrated by Isabel Muñoz (Kar-Ben Publishing, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group) as their children’s book pick. This picture book, a National Jewish Book Award finalist, details the enduring friendship that developed between Albert Einstein and singer Marion Anderson. Due to her race, Anderson was refused lodging after performing in Princeton in 1937, so Einstein, a big fan, invited her to stay with him. They found they had a lot in common based on their shared experiences of racial discrimination.  Read more: