Reporting: JK Rowling at Carnegie Hall
First of all, I was not at the evening presentation where Ms. Rowling made the announcement/pronouncement/outing. As I figure it, this means that Ms. Rowling owes me one great big very interesting secret of the Harry Potter universe. I’m sure she’ll think of something. Until then, I’m content to wait.
No, my viewing of the celeb author happened a little earlier in the day. Initially I had a difficult time figuring out exactly where Carnegie Hall was. Everytime I asked my husband how to get to it he’d burst out with, "Practice!" and that was that. Eventually I located the building, picked up my tickets, and a couple days later found myself in a swarm of youngsters just ah-waiting to get in.
For fear of sounding like a corporate shill for Scholastic, can I just say how well the whole kerschmozzle was organized? Grown-ups who weren’t with school groups found themselves on the First Tier. As I am given to understand it, the schools present contained kids from around the five boroughs that had high reading levels. It wasn’t all whitey white white (thank heavens) and when Rowling stepped onto the stage it was like watching a rock star. The screams were piercing. Heck, the kids started screaming the moment the lights dimmed (though they had lots of adults to work through before they got to see the big star). I didn’t see Cheryl Klein or Arthur A. Levine around or about but I know that she at least was seeing Ms. Rowling later in the evening.
What I loved about the kids, aside from their out-and-out enthusiasm (they actually cheered when a presenter talked about "a love of reading"), was that each school had one representative present to ask Ms. Rowling a question. The kid would say their name, their age, and their school. Of course, the moment it was mentioned the other children from that same school would cheer like billy-o. It felt like the houses cheering one another on at Hogwarts, really.
The fact that Ms. Rowling also signed a book personally for every single child present was wonderful. I don’t know that I can add anything to the recap of the show given over at The Leaky Cauldron. Edward and GraceAnne have sort of captured everything I was going to mention down to Rowling’s muy swank outfit. I will say that I think that it’s odd that no one else has pointed out that Ms. Rowling’s husband looks eerily like a grown-up Harry (down to the nicely touseled hair). He was seated two boxes (or whatever they’re called) over from me so I got a good gander.
In short, a fine time was had by all.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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