First-ever BIPOC children’s book fair coming to Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland’s first-ever book fair for BIPOC children and teens is coming to Norse Hall in December.

The book fair will feature books for kids ages 3-17 across a variety of genres with BIPOC characters from adventure and fantasy to mystery and non-fiction — all written by BIPOC authors.

The event is led by award-winning children’s book author K. Tempest Bradford and the Carl Brandon Society – a non-profit aiming to increase racial and ethnic diversity in speculative fiction.

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Attendees will have the opportunity to buy books, meet authors, get autographs and take home a book of their choosing for free.

Other children’s book authors in attendance include Nisi Shawl, David F. Walker, Anita Crawford, and Diana Ma.

“For years now I’ve seen conversations on social media about how marginalized people –especially Black, Indigenous, and other people of color — didn’t always look back on school book fairs fondly. Their parents couldn’t afford to give them money for books, so they had to sit on the sidelines and watch other kids shop,” Tempest Bradford said.

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“When the opportunity arose for me to create a fair centered around BIPOC-authored books, one of my priorities was to make it possible for every child to take home a book regardless of finances,” Tempest Bradford furthered. “I’m excited for this community event to promote literacy, showcase BIPOC kidlit, and show kids of all backgrounds the amazing diversity available to them in books of all kinds.”

Books will be provided by Sistah Scifi, the first Black-owned bookstore in the United States focusing on science fiction and fantasy.

“I’m thrilled that Sistah Scifi is participating in the first Portland BIPOC Children’s Book Fair. We’re excited to introduce readers to children’s literature by and about BIPOC people in science fiction and fantasy and other genres. My hope is that this event will give attendees the opportunity to explore new horizons. This event aligns perfectly with our mission to inspire and empower the next generation of imaginative minds,” Sistah Scifi CEO and Founder Isis Asare said.

The book fair will be held 12-4 p.m. Dec. 23 at Norse Hall on Northeast 11th Avenue.

Admission is $5, which event organizers say can be waived upon request. Kids 2 years old and under can get in for free.

Tickets are available online and masks are required for the event.

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