Both of my kids have been going on about this upcoming movie. My voraciously reader of a daughter has really enjoyed the series. That isn't too unusual as she often gets hooked on many books. However, my son also absolutely loves this book series. He isn't a huge reader, but twice has read titles from this series in one day. All it took was listening to the audio of the most recent release, The Last Olympian, to get him to want to start over at the first book. When I asked if he wanted an audio book or a regular book, he said, "Mom, reading a book is so much better than listening to it!" As the mom of a dyslexic, that was complete music to my ears!
Still, I wasn't sure if we'd attend this event. It meant driving to the bookstore in the morning before they opened and waiting to get wristbands (no autographs without them!), forfeiting some school work to do so, and then coming back that evening and fighting a huge crowd of tweens. I hate shopping at Costco on Saturday, let alone a bookstore full of tweens. In the end, though, I decided both of my kids would enjoy the movie even more after having met the cast. How often do they get to do that?
I arrived at the bookstore at 8:30, with my son in tow. I was surprised no line had formed yet. A friend had told me other events had 50 or more waiting outside the door before opening. I noticed several people waiting in cars opting to keep warm. Smart crowd. No one budged until the first person decided to get out of their car a few minutes before opening. Soon the line formed to about a dozen, but that was all. I was third in line and able to get into the first batch of those to get autographs. My son and I shopped for an hour or so and I ended up picking up a few more wristbands for friends before leaving.
We arrived about 45 minutes before the discussion was to take place. The crowd grew and grew (as did my nerves!). One of the kids in our party curled up and put her coat over her head to block out sensory overload! The discussion started over 30 minutes late and only lasted about 15 minutes. I think my kids still enjoyed it though. I thought Brandon T. Jackson was especially good with the kids, though they all gave thoughtful answers to the questions.
Next was the signing. At that point, I was pretty thankful I arrived early enough to get in on the first batch. We were through the line in no time. It was assembly line fashion and no posed pics, but I did manage to get some candid shots on the way through. My daughter sort of flung her poster at Logan Lerman and hurried down to the end of the table. I guess that is what they told her to do rather than follow her poster along. By the time my son and I reached the table, they were letting people follow the item to be signed. Later on in the signing, I think they banned the camera shots while in line, or at least enforced it. I'm sure the cast would tire quickly of constant up-close flashes all evening, though it seemed Brandon T. Jackson didn't mind at all.
It was a fun evening for my kids. A radio station was even giving out free tickets to a prescreening, which made the budget-minded adults happy. Overall, it was well-run given the amount of people and we'll likely attend similar special Border events in the future for the right author or celebrity.