Children’s Author Festival

Author Fest, April 9 – 11: What You Need to Know

Beginning Wednesday, the Downers Grove Area Council of PTAs and participating schools (including ours) will celebrate Author Fest — a three-day, district-wide event that gives students opportunities to share experiences with acclaimed authors and illustrators.

To prepare, Hillcrest PTA in December purchased Blue Balliett’s “Chasing Vermeer” for families participating in One Book, One Hillcrest! If you’ve visited our library, you may have heard LRC Director Leslie Hesterman engage students with games, trivia questions, lunch listens, and more. You may have also glimpsed student questions and thoughts, on post-it notes, displayed along the walls.

Blue Balliett is recovering from the flu, and cannot host student events on Wednesday, as planned. The good news, however, is she’ll visit our students on Thursday. Here’s an updated schedule.

Thursday, April 10 (Hillcrest)

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: Blue Balliett will meet fourth and fifth graders, share her author secrets and answer questions about “Chasing Vermeer” and her other books. (Balliett will be happy to sign your copy of “Chasing Vermeer” at Friday’s free signing.)

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.: Balliett will meet with fifth- and sixth-grade classes. (See details above.)

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Balliett will host “Reading and Education: The Home Connection,” for all District parents. This is a free event, sponsored by the Council of PTAs and registration is recommended. For more information, visit:

Friday, April 11

1:50 – 2:50 p.m. (Hillcrest): Aaron Reynolds will meet first, second, and third graders, presenting “Creepy Carrots!” and illustrations included in his other books. Students can get books signed that evening.

6:30 p.m. (Herrick): Anderson’s Bookshop will sell books for signing (or you can bring your own). A percentage of those sales will benefit the Council of PTAs.

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Students can have books signed by participating authors including Blue Balliett, Julia Durango, John Madormo, Marianne Malone, and Aaron Reynolds. This event is also free and open to the public.

If you have questions, please email, or