Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Club Ideas for "The Devil in the White City" {by Erik Larson}

The Devil in the White City has two different but parallel story lines going on throughout the entire book. 
The first plot is that of  H.H. Holmes, serial killer and all around CREEPER. The second plot follows the creation of the Chicago Worlds Fair and all involved. Towards the end of the book the two plots tie together.

For the H.H. Holmes serial killer plot, Kelly got an old suitcase to look like a doctors bag where she displayed old bottles, an old notebook and surgical tools that she found at an antique store. She had posters printed from the actual 1893 fair AND of a newspaper article showing Holmes horrifying "murder castle" that she found online and then framed.

Kelly's husband is a big hunter so she didn't have to look any further than her own garage to find loose animal teeth and a coyote skull to use for decoration representing the animal cruelty Holmes displayed as a child. She even found a picture of  H.H. Holmes himself  to frame for everyone to see and be creeped out by (mission accomplished!)

H.H. Holmes

H.H. Holmes

For the Burnham, worlds fair plot line, we used all things related to the World's Fair to bring the magic of the White City to life!

PS don't forget to check out ALL of our food ideas for this book!

Cupcake Ferris Wheel
Popcorn Machine

Eiffel Tower

I found a super helpful tutorial on The Style Sisters blog that inspired me to create these three beautiful paper lantern hot air balloons which were so fun to make and turned out great! (which is saying something since I am NOT crafty.)

paper lantern hot air balloon tutorial

Paper lantern hot air balloon

paper lantern hot air balloon

The World in the "worlds fair" portion of the book was represented with these country flags found on Mr. Printables blog which were then attached to the hot air balloons and on a garland strung above the food table.

printable county flags

Pin wheels, American Flags, and a festive garland all added a touch of the fair to the mantel.

Kelly printed the actual tickets used on Manhattan Day for the World's Fair and had them placed here and there on the tables. It would even be cute to give each member a ticket to "enter" book club.


Printable Chicago worlds fair ticket

Kelly put together some great discussion questions and a ton of pictures that she found online including everything we would ever want to see or know about The Devil in the White City!


Kellie Hall also put together a wonderful CHARACTER LIST that helped our entire group keep the many, many characters straight in our minds as we were reading

{Black and White}
Kelly asked everyone to dress up in Black and White attire because the World's Fair was nicknamed "The White City" since all the buildings were painted a beautiful bright white.
On the flip side was a dirty Chicago thought of as a "Black City" with it's crime, grime and dark alley ways.
So our attire to wear Black and White seemed well suited.

{Murderers and Victims Oh My!}

Check back on Wednesday to see what activity Kelly had us do that had everyone holding their breath!!


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