ALA Chicago – Day Four

Heading to the airport later this morning, but first, here are a few more photos from ALA and Chicago.

Yesterday started bright and early on the ALA exhibit floor, where I ran into   , whose debut YA novel ASH is on the way from Little Brown. It’s a re-telling of Cinderella with a twist — the main character falls in love not with the prince but with the King’s huntress.  I read an ARC of Malinda’s book a few weeks ago, and it’s beautifully written. Don’t miss it when it comes out in September!


That’s Malinda on the left, me on the right.  I do not know why my hair looks like I’ve just touched one of those electricity-static ball things. 

We saw Elizabeth Bluemle’s soon-to-be-released picture book HOW DO YOU WOKKA WOKKA at the Candlewick booth, and the good folks there were kind enough to stand by while we read the whole thing out loud together, doing little wokka dances. 

This book, written in verse, is great fun, with inventive language that you can’t resist reading out loud. Rumor is that Elizabeth is planning a block party at Flying Pig Bookstore for its August release, too.

After lunch, we visited the Field Museum of Chicago, where the Real Pirates exhibit was sold out, unfortunately, but we did get to see Sue, the museum’s T-Rex fossil.

Then it was back to Hyde Park for the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Museum of Science & Industry.

The Harry Potter Exhibition includes more than 200 artifacts and costumes from the movies, as well as an opportunity to walk through Hagrid’s hut, try your hand at Quidditch, and repot a mandrake.  Cameras weren’t allowed, and I understand why.  Seeing too much of this exhibit ahead of time would spoil the thrill of turning a corner and seeing a favorite moment from the series.  Some of what I heard from my kids:

"Look, Mom!  It’s the Marauder’s Map!"

"BUCKBEAK!!!"

"You’re supposed to have headphones on when you pull that mandrake."

"There are death eaters up here in the next room!"

"I could stay here forever."

If you’re a Harry Potter fan and you have a chance to see this show, make it a point to do so; it’s really that spectacular. Chicago is the only scheduled city right now, but the website says more will be added soon.

That’s all for today – it’s time to have breakfast & get to the airport.  More on ALA, including some book giveaways, when I get home.

P.S. I am watching my daughter pack her suitcase as I type.  The books all went in first, and she is now staring, perplexed, at the large pile of clothing on the floor that didn’t fit. At least she has her priorities straight.

20 Replies on “ALA Chicago – Day Four

  1. Thanks for taking me along on your ALA journey, Kate … it was the next-best thing to being there myself!

    Hello to your family, and safe travels.

  2. Awesome!

    Wow,
    I had a great time reading your posts and watching the video. I must save up enough to go to an ALA conference myself one day. Congratulations Kate and thank you for sharing with us!

  3. I hope HP comes to Philly – I’d love to see it.

    I saw the Real Pirates exhibit when it was in Philly, and it was marvelous. I’m sorry to hear it was sold out for you!

  4. This actually brought tears to my eyes — it was not only wonderful to meet you and your beautiful daughter (and a brief glimpse of your son), but hearing about their love for books and characters just touches me and makes me smile 🙂 Safe journey home, Kate!!

  5. I would have been thrilled to have seen Sue but I’ve heard very mixed reviews about Real Pirates. I’m surprised that it was sold out that evening in Chicago because reports are that it hasn’t done all that well.

  6. The Harry Potter exhibit sounds almost as effective as the Lord of the Rings exhibit we saw in Boston years back. I’m just astounded at what the artifacts can do for those with imagination.

    P.S. Your daughter’s priorities are great!

  7. I think you did a much better job of meeting people than I did! I feel like I missed half of the people I knew would be there.

    Real Pirates was very cool. What I found most fascinating? They focused on the 26-year-old captain, the 16-year-old ship’s pilot, and an 8-year-old crew member!

  8. I made The Webmeister change the itinerary for our road trip to Chicago in late July so we could go to the Harry Potter exhibit. No WAY was I going to miss that! I’m glad to hear it’s worth it 🙂

    I want to go to ALA some day!! Hanging out with librarians sounds like my idea of heaven.

  9. Re: Awesome!

    I’m definitely going to try to attend again – whether I need to be there to sign or not. Just soaking up the experience was amazing.

  10. I hope we’ll be able to catch the Real Pirates exhibit along the way somewhere, in another city perhaps, since it tours.

    It was so great finally meeting you in person…and I know just how you feel. There were so many people I know were there that I just never got to meet up with.

  11. You will LOVE the HP exhibit! And yes…ALA was pretty much heaven (though the post-ALA laundry pile, it turns out, is at the other end of the spectrum)