Hundreds of people, many with their daughters and granddaughters, waited in line in and outside Anderson’s Bookshop in La Grange Friday night for Chelsea Clinton to sign a copy of her latest book.
Some appreciated the message of her book, “She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History,” which tells the story of real women, like Caroline Herschel of Germany, the first woman to discover a comet, and Mary Verghese, an Indian doctor who continued to practice after her legs were paralyzed in a car crash.
“I like what Chelsea is doing to highlight women,” said Evalee Dumas of Darien.
Dumas said the book shows the accomplishments of women and their diversity. The women profiled have different ethnicities, but all have something to give to the world.
“I have two granddaughters and four grandsons and I certainly am going to expose them to these books,” she said.
Some people came because they like the Clintons.
“The first president I ever voted for was her father when I was 18,” said Heather Eggerding of Brookfield, who brought her 10-year-old daughter, Eva, and another girl, Megan Gray. “And I took Eva with me when I voted for her mother. I’ve been a Clinton fan for a long time.”
Many came for a combination of reasons.
“I voted for her mom,” said Jenna Tassoni of La Grange, who admitted she was curious to see what Chelsea looks like in person.
“I am a fan of her family and I wanted to bring my daughter,” said Katie Jopa of La Grange, who messaged a group of her friends who are mothers about the book signing. Her 2-year-old daughter, Amelia, wore a shirt with the words, “Girls will change the world.”
Lori St. Arnaud of Indian Head Park brought her 11-year-old daughter, Mirielle, and Mirielle’s best friend Sofia Losavio.
“It’s a great opportunity,” St. Arnaud said. “We love Anderson’s bookstore. We’re on their mailing list. We were shocked and surprised Chelsea was coming here.”
Mirielle was eager to read about J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, in Clinton’s new book.
Olivia Powell, 9, waited in line outside the store with her grandmother and several other relatives from Glen Ellyn and Elk Grove Village. Olivia had read Chelsea Clinton’s first children’s book, “She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World.”
“I liked how it told all about the things the ladies did to persist,” Olivia said. “One of my favorites was Sally Ride, because I’m really into science and space.”
Kelly Lennon and Julia Jann of Park Ridge came wearing shirts with the name of their school and Hillary Clinton’s alma mater, Maine South High School.
“We founded the feminist club at our school,” said Lennon, a senior. “Hillary Clinton was a big inspiration for us.”
“We try to raise awareness of women in history who are overlooked,” Jann said, “and fight the stigma that girls can’t do certain things because they are too boyish.”
Chelsea’s book introduces those ideas to girls at a young age, Jann and Lennon said.
Nancy Polancich of Buffalo Grove was buying books for her two granddaughters, age 8 and 6, who live in Wisconsin.
“They have her first book. I loved it and it’s one of their favorites,” Polancich said. “They like to read about the women and then go on YouTube and see videos of them in real life.”
Anderson’s presold between 600 and 650 tickets for the signing. Each ticket required the purchase of Clinton’s book at Anderson’s, and allowed up to four people to attend.
Clinton did not personalize any messages in the book, but she greeted each person warmly, occasionally asking questions.
She questioned Ava Raddatz of Westchester about the sweatshirt she was wearing with the insignia for Emory University, where Raddatz attends.
“She said her friend is a professor at the medical school,” Raddatz said. “That is pretty cool.”
“She is such an inspiration to so many people,” Raddatz said. “Despite all the political drama that her parents experienced, she has remained positive. She is writing books about how girls can do anything. There are not as many role models for girls as there should be.”
Next year, Raddatz will teach at an elementary school in northwest Indiana for the Teach for America program.
“This book is going to be in my classroom,” Raddatz said.