Kathy Reichs is one of the authors to be featured at the 26th annual Barbara Bush Celebration of Reading.
Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation co-founders and foundation president Julie Baker Finck at the author reveal for the 2019 fundraiser. (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush will offer pre-recorded greetings to the 26th annual Celebration of Reading. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation)
Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians and most recently Sex and Vanity, is one of the authors to be highlighted at the 26th Celebration of Reading.
Bestselling author John Grisham is one of the authors to be featured at the 26th annual Celebration of Reading.
H.W. Brands is one of the authors to be highlighted at the 26th Celebration of Reading to be broadcast on October 17.
Celebration of Reading alumnus Brad Meltzer will make a cameo appearance on the pre-recorded program.
Celebration of Reading alumnus James Patterson will make a cameo appearance on the pre-recorded program.
T.D. Jakes will make a cameo appearance during the 26th annual Celebration of Reading.
For the many who were disappointed by the postponement of last spring’s 26th annual A Celebration of Reading fundraiser due to COVID-19, the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation more than makes up for it with an hour-long televised spectacular that presents even more famed authors than originally scheduled, along with an entertainment component.
The program will be broadcast, commercial free, from 7 to 8 pm Saturday, October 17, on KPRC, Channel 2. Unlike typical virtual fundraisers, this one requires no invitations, no passwords, and no ticketing.
The lineup of New York Times bestselling authors making presentations on the pre-recorded program includes Kathy Reichs, forensic anthropologist and crime writer of the popular Bones series including her latest book, Conspiracy of Bones; John Grisham, author of 40 legal thrillers, whose newest book, A Time for Mercy, will release this month; international bestseller Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians and, most recently, Sex and Vanity; University of Texas distinguished history professor, twice-named Pulitzer Prize finalist, and author of The Zealot and the Emancipator, H.W. Brands; and Jean Becker, former chief of staff for President George H.W. Bush and ghostwriter of the recently released book Pearls of Wisdom about First Lady Barbara Bush.
There will also be cameo appearances by bestselling authors T.D. Jakes and Jeff Kinney, and previous Celebration of Reading authors Brad Meltzer and James Patterson. Also joining the program with greetings will be former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush.
Hosted by KPRC news anchor Dominique Sachse, the program will include entertainment by Lee Greenwood, America’s Got Talent finalist comedian Preacher Lawson, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Mary Griffin, the Texas Southern University Choir, and the Houston Children’s Chorus.
“While we were disappointed that our traditionally in-person event was impacted due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are grateful for the partnership with KPRC and the contributions from our loyal and generous donors, enabling us to transform A Celebration of Reading into a special program and broadcast it throughout the entire Greater Houston region,” says Neil Bush, who co-founded the Houston foundation with his wife Maria. “Mom would be especially pleased that more people will be able to celebrate the power of reading and enjoy the many authors who enrich our lives though their books.”
The event has commanded revenues of $1.8 million for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. For the fifth year, Phillips 66 is serving as title sponsor, and for the third year, contributions from the Quanex Foundation have earned it the title of presenting sponsor. Add ConocoPhillips, Kathrine McGovern/McGovern Foundation, and Greg and Gail Garland as additional generous contributors.