Rick Riordan Recap

Alison Morris - May 23, 2007

Last Friday night was our evening with Rick Riordan, and It. Was. WONDERFUL!! We partnered with the Morse Institute Library of Natick to host the event in Wilson Middle School's beautiful Joseph A. Keefe Performing Arts Center. Too pretty to be called an "auditorium," the space even sports very Grecian-looking pillars, which I jokingly told our audience they'd installed specifically for our event with Rick. (A bewildered kid later asked whether or not that remark was true.)

Despite the fact that Friday was miserably cold and rainy and the fact that we had to unload and set up in record time, EVERYTHING went swimmingly! There were approximately 350 Percy Jackson fans in attendance, which made the 400+ seat auditorium feel comfortably full. (This was an excellent turn-out given the weather and the fact that many families were no doubt tied up with the trappings of Natick High School's prom, which was happening elsewhere that night.) Everyone present seemed enthusiastic when they arrived and overjoyed when they left. Why? Because Rick was just fantastic.

There are authors who can present and there are authors who can entertain. Rick does both, with the skill that can only come from years spent standing at the front of a middle-school classroom. He had the audience hanging on his every word and begging for the opportunity to answer his questions (questions about the particulars of Greek mythology, no less). Sure, it helped that Rick tossed out t-shirts to those kids who correctly answered his questions (which all of them did), but I think what most of them really wanted was the chance to show off for the man whose books they so adore.

Yesterday I received a wonderful e-mail thank-you from Tracy Gladstone, a customer I'd never met before, that pretty well sums up the enthusiasm we all felt for this event. Here's an excerpt from Tracy's very thoughtful, validating message:

I am writing just to share with you how thrilled we were with the Rick Riordan event this past Friday night, and to thank you for making it happen. I couldn't believe I drove with my son 45 minutes in the rain to get there, and then waited outside (again in the rain) for 15 minutes to get into the school, and then waited for 192 numbers to get our books signed… and honestly it was one of the most wonderful evenings I've ever had with my 10-year-old. I was thrilled to sit with him in an auditorium of kids who read and who believed they were in the presence of a real pop star. I loved watching my son giggling at the author's jokes, and craning his neck to see the covers of his books published internationally, and waving his arm in the air to answer questions about Greek mythology. Thank you so much for giving us such an amazing evening!

Lest anyone worry that this "pop star" might be fleeing the children's literature scene anytime soon, Rick says there will be two more books starring Percy Jackson, and he's got other mythology-inspired series in the works.

Below is an assortment of photos from the event, plus one of the drawings Gareth added to his sketchbook during Rick's presentation.



3 thoughts on “Rick Riordan Recap

  1. Bhamc

    After reading your blog on the Percy Jackson books, I went out and bought “The Lightning Thief.” It’s fantastic! Thank you for the great suggestion.

  2. esmol

    hi i am living in the netherlands and going to school at the European school of mol in belgium. i really enjoy reading rick riordans book. my favorite is the book ” percy jackson and the sea of monsters” well anyway my class is doing a world book day event ( in a way) and we try contacting different authors and the first name that came to me was rick riordan. well anyway hope you talk back i would like to hear from you soon and i will tell you more information


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