The final part of my book tour was a lot of fun! I got to do school visits as well as bookstore events, which meant that I got to meet even more readers. Awesome.
In case you were wondering, I did manage to wake up at 5:00 and drag myself to the airport. I usually get out a book and read when the airport security line is long, but for some reason I didn’t do that this time (anyone sense a non-coincidence coming up?). Which means I was paying attention to the people around me. Which is why I noticed one of my old students. She’s a security officer there. I was like, Shut UP! No one is going to believe us! It was probably best to avoid a whole loud scene in the middle of security, so while we were hugging and freaking out and everyone was totally staring (because how often do you know an airport security person?), she told me that she’d meet me at my gate. We got to catch up and document the reunion:
When I landed in Chicago, my author escort took me right to Harlem High School. I spoke to two 9th grade English classes, then met with the book club after school. Can I just say that their book club rules? It’s immensely fun to chill with hardcore readers. They’re currently reading Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. Naturally, I wanted to stay and join the discussion.
That night, Wonderland Books & Toys hosted a dinner for me and some awesome readers. They had the biggest pizza in the world! Seriously, when I saw that pizza box I was like, What size pizza is that? It was beyond large. Thanks to Shawna for organizing such a cool event, complete with pink cupcakes. Abbey was there with this cute bookmark she made:
The next day started at Scullen Middle School with a lunch group of 8th grade girls. Ah, the days when I had to eat lunch at 10:30 – I don’t miss them at all. A beautiful table was set up in the media center – pink forks, napkins with dots, heart cookies, and a major chocolate cake:
Now, at these lunch and dinner events I don’t actually get to eat anything since I’m doing most of the talking. Plus, my Invisalign condition prevents me from eating whenever. But I usually get to take a treat to go, so it’s all good. I loved meeting this group of girls! They even made a huge welcome poster for me:
Next I gathered in the band room with about 30 8th graders. But this wasn’t a typical presentation. While I was speaking with them, the talk was filmed and being broadcast to the entire 8th grade. All the classrooms have monitors. It’s the new assembly, people! That was a really fun discussion, although I should apologize for using the word beeyotch. You’re allowed to use that word here instead of the other. It kind of slipped out when I was talking about this girl I went to high school with who was, well, a total beeyotch. My bad.
Then it was off to Waubonsie Valley High School, where I did an activity with a creative writing class. It was wild being in a classroom with so much room to move around. I’m used to very limited space when I’m teaching. I could have done cartwheels in front of that class. I mean, if I knew how to do cartwheels. As we were walking up to the school, I noticed that signs with each room number were in the windows, facing outward. Smart. I recommend that all schools do this in case of an emergency.
That night was my last tour event at Anderson’s Bookshop. I will never forget it. I got to meet my LJ friend Ronica. Brittany gave me cupcakes. Along with the birthday gift from Tameka and Jessica at my Borders event in LA, I was feeling very spoiled. And Anne drove two hours each way just to be there. I was honored!
Now I’m back home. I’d like to collapse in a heap of post-tour exhaustion, but I can’t because my deadline looms. My new W Hotel king pillows are not helping (thanks for the ultimate birthday gift, Laila!). Stop taunting me, extra puffy pillows. Just be ready.