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The Order of Oddfish


The Order of Odd-Fish Field Trip

It’s an art show! It’s an author performance! It’s a writing workshop! It’s a costume party! Appropriate for 5th graders to 12th graders.

Dates: Running from Monday, April 19 to Friday, April 23.

Time: 2 hours, morning or afternoon. Exact times can be adjusted to your schedule, but generally the morning session is 9:30-11:30 am and the afternoon session is 12:30-2:30 pm.

Location: 437 N. Wolcott, Chicago, IL 60622.

Maximum number of students: Around 60. If you group is fewer than 30, we may ask to combine with students scheduled from another school.

Cost: Each student can choose: $10 for just the field trip, or $15 for the field trip plus a signed, personalized paperback of The Order of Odd-Fish AND a mix CD of the Odd-Fish soundtrack!

What is it? As you can see on the right, I’ve been getting a lot of wild fan art for my debut YA fantasy The Order of Odd-Fish (Random House Delacorte, 2008). This April 19th-23rd I’m putting on an event with Chicago theater group Collaboraction to honor these teen artists, and bring Odd-Fish alive for schools in and around Chicago!

When your students arrive, they’ll enter the environment of the book itself—Collaboraction’s studio, redecorated as the fantastical tropical metropolis of Eldritch City—where they’ll browse the fan art galleries, take in dramatic author performances from the book, and participate in a theatrical writing workshop.

In this writing workshop, we’ll recreate Odd-Fish’s climactic “Dome of Doom” scene! In this scene, the hero and her rival must, as part of a dueling ritual, dress up as some of the 144,444 gods of Eldritch City and exchange threats and insults in the old classical Eldritch City style before jousting.

Students will invent their own gods from the Eldritch City pantheon (with names like “Aznath, the Silver Kitten of Deceit” or “Ichthala, the All-Devouring Mother”). They will then rummage through our chests of costumes and put together costumes to look their their god. Next, they’ll write their own baroque, ludicrous Eldritch City-style insults. Then we’ll put on our own “Dome of Doom” tournament in which students pair off in the ring, announce the name of the god they’ve invented, exchange the ritualized threats that they’ve written in front of everyone, and then dance-fight each other (no touching) to insane fighting music. There will be prizes!

Contact James Kennedy at for questions and to set up your field trip.

Check out the full gallery of Odd-Fish fan art here.

Download a PDF outlining the field trip.

Download a free PDF of the Odd-Fish lesson plan guide.