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CFVI Partnering with Tourism to Represent USVI at the
2022 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Virgin Islands, August 9, 2022  As part of its role as the Library of Congress Center for the Book affiliate for the USVI, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI), with support from the Department of Tourism, will be representing the USVI at The 22nd Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on September 3, 2022. The event is free and open to the public. 

Since the first National Book Festival in 2001, it has become one of the most prominent literary events in the United States that unifies best-selling authors and thousands of readers for author talks, panel discussions, book signings, and other engaging activities.

CFVI is attending the festival for the first time to represent and promote the U.S. Virgin Islands for literacy and reading, as well as a potential tourism destination for visitors. Festival attendance from children and families has skyrocketed from 25,000 in 2001 to more than 200,000 in 2019. 

“CFVI is excited to be part of the Festival, which is returning after being on hold since the pandemic. This will be a unique opportunity to engage both young people and adults with information about the U.S. Virgin Islands, including our local culture, heritage, and history,” said Baecher-Brown. “With our partners in USVI Tourism, we appreciate this opportunity to spread awareness of the rich cultural and environmental treasures in the Virgin Islands, and to entice an increasing number of visitors to explore the many varied wonders of our islands.” 

For more information about the Festival, visit
As part of the festival, each state and territory affiliate is invited to name a children’s and adult book as its designated Great Reads for 2022 and a list of the books is distributed during the festival. Each book is selected by a local Center for the Book or state library and most are for children and young readers. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage. 
“James and the Fireburn,” by best-selling author Angela Golden Bryan, has been designated as the USVI's children's Great Read for 2022. An anti-bullying human rights story inspired by Caribbean history, the story focuses on the importance for children to learn right from wrong and to avoid destructive bullying behavior. The book provides lessons in making wise choices for children while educating readers about a piece of U.S. Caribbean history. 
“‘James and the Fireburn’ takes challenging subjects and presents them in a fun rhyme, making both the story and lesson easier to learn and remember,” said Bryan. “In an age-appropriate manner, the book explores what happens when silence prevails and also encourages children to stand up for what is right.” 
"Fireburn the Screenplay," also authored by Bryan, was selected as the adult Great Read for 2022 from the USVI. The screenplay is based on the history of St. Croix and the U.S. Virgin Islands' bloody labor revolt of 1878.

Bryan’s historical fiction is a tribute to the three “queens” who rose to leadership by taking a fiery stance against the unfair labor conditions that existed for the emancipated laborers. Her book weaves a tale of passion, purpose, and revenge and delivers an electrifying and visceral experience to the reader. The vivid descriptions, historical references, and turbulent relationships create a myriad of emotions.

For more information about "James and the Fireburn" and "Fireburn the Screenplay," visit
Bryan, an award-winning author, actress, and producer grew up on St. Croix, and is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Fireburn Foundation. 

“This whole storytelling journey has been very fulfilling for me," said Bryan. "I started in elementary school reciting poetry to audiences; acted on stage throughout high school and college; acted in television and film as an adult; and now I am authoring books and producing films. There’s no way I could have predicted any of this. I’m so grateful to the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands for being such a huge part of my journey and helping share my stories far beyond what I could have done on my own."

For more information, visit

About Center for the Book and the Library of Congress
Congress created the Library’s Center for the Book in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading. It has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion with affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and Northern Marianas. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.
About the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
Since 1990, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has been a catalyst for positive change in the Territory through initiatives committed to youth, learning, family support and the environment. With a professional staff and a volunteer Board of Directors composed of community leaders, CFVI is a trusted advocate and supporter of programs that ensure opportunity and sustainability for current and future generations. CFVI is a registered non-profit organization entirely supported by individual donors, grants, trusts, corporate donations and estate planning. For more information, visit
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