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The next chapter
Great Valley Bookfest is October 8 in Manteca

The Great Valley Bookfest — now in its 10th year — is the latest chapter in the book being written to not just elevate literacy rates but to also celebrate the power and joy of reading.

More than 60 authors with most heralding from the Northern San Joaquin Valley are participating in the Bookfest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on  Oct. 8, at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley near Bass Pro Shops accessed via the Union Road interchange on the 120 Bypass.

If you think this free event is a staid affair, guess again.

Organizers have done everything possible to drive home the point reading is fun and can open the door up to all sorts of endeavors.

Besides having the chance to meet authors (and purchase their books if you like), there is a children’s pavilion with interactions with children’s authors as well as hands-on activities, a poet’s corner with author readings, magicians, sidewalk chalk contest, customed characters, dance and martial arts demos, bounce house, vendors,  and more.

The Bookfest not only speaks volumes about the commitment of organizers and participants to reading and literacy but it underscores the valley’s tremendous resources and commitment to elevate lives through the power of reading.

When Toni Raymus first started circulating the idea of staging a Bookfest, the nearly universal response was, “what, a Bookfest in Manteca?” with more than a few silently wondering whether she was joking.

Her response: Why not?

There is little doubt much of the San Joaquin Valley has its challenges. But that said, the Valley is not a desert when it comes to literature or culture.  In fact, you could argue that the Northern San Joaquin Valley is the perfect setting for not just a Bookfest but to strengthen the written word.

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