A Bookish Adventure

I started this blog to document an extended trip to the US and UK in 2012, introducing children to my Alice-Miranda series. It's hard to believe that it's just on four years since we launched the first Alice-Miranda title - and now there are nine books out in Australia with another five still to come. When I first came up with the idea of this precocious seven and a quarter year old, I had no clue that she would take me on such an amazing journey, not only in Australia but also across the world. I visited 37 schools while we were away in 2012 and gave over 80 talks - it was fantastic. In 2013 I've been on lots of new adventures in the UK - visiting schools from London to Southampton, Lancashire, Scotland, Newcastle and back to London again. After that I headed off to meet readers in Singapore. In Australia I've been to Melbourne, Perth, Albany, Alice Springs and Brisbane. There's a new series too - about a gorgeous little girl called Clementine Rose. She and Alice-Miranda don't know each other yet, but they will soon.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chicago Day 3

I had a great time yesterday at Meadowview School in Woodridge Illinois.  A beautiful school surrounded by lush green fields, I spotted my first squirrel of the trip running across their front lawn on our way out.  I love watching squirrels – they’re so fast and very cute.

I talked to about 180 students in Grade 3-5.  Their knowledge of Australia was not as extensive as some of the other schools – there seemed to be a bit of confusion between us and Africa.  But some of the children had fun facts. They were a great audience and we had a couple of outstanding actors too.  Excellent tantrum throwing!

It was lovely meeting Melissa Love their librarian and Angie from Anderson’s.  Chicago has been welcoming and is very pretty – much more so than I had first imagined.  The suburbs are picture postcard and the city is well planned with fantastic public spaces.  Although I couldn’t imagine so many different fast food outlets and there does seem to be a Macdonalds every mile or so.  Adrian looked after us beautifully, driving me to the engagements and making sure that we were there in time.  It was fun to learn more about the city and the US in general as we swapped stories along the way.

We had some time off in the afternoon; I was writing and resting –it’s been a big couple of weeks!
Dinner at Stetson’s Chophouse where the chops were HUGE!  There are no lambs that big in Australia I’m sure.  Everything is bigger in the US.

This morning we headed out of the city to Lansing Michigan – a three and a half hour drive.  Only one wrong turn where we ended up in a pretty run down suburb.  Thankfully it wasn’t too difficult to find our way back to the freeway.  We thought we were on track to be early – then realised about half an hour out of Lansing that there is actually a one hour time difference between Michigan and Illinois.  Never mind we were only half an hour late.  We met up with one of my husband’s best mates from home – who lives here in the US.  It’s been ten years since we’ve seen him - so a lovely long catch up was the order of the afternoon.  We stopped into the enormous Barnes and Noble store and met two of the staff members who were again very welcoming and asked me to sign all of their stock.  Tomorrow we’re off to explore this neck of the woods and then to schools on Monday.

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