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Thalia Book Club Camp offers up-close interaction with renowned children's book authors and illustrators, book discussions, and book-related field trips around the city. This blog follows the camp's activities.

Thalia Kids’ Book Club Camp – Day Two

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Published on August 4, 2009

We kicked off day two of the TKBC Camp this morning with some lively warm-up exercises with Symphony Space’s Education Associate, Regina Larkin, who helped us stretch our limbs and give our bodies some morning energy.  

Our first author of the day then arrived – Michael Buckley, the author of the Sisters Grimm series. He told us about his incredible journey towards becoming the professional writer that he is today, which is almost a book in itself!  Starting with an encounter with comedian/actor Eddie Murphy in Michael’s hometown in Ohio, Michael’s career path then lead him to touring as a stand-up comedian with big names like Jon Stewart, and eventually he began writing for some of our favorite cartoon shows, such as Rugrats and the Fairly OddParents. If that wasn’t already a mouthful, we also learned a lot of other things about Michael and being a writer – that he can write almost anywhere, like the park or the zoo, that he gets lots of free books, and even that he wears unicorn pajamas! The best part, however, was that the TKBC campers once again were treated with something special during the visit, as we were the first ones to not only learn the title and see the cover of the Sisters Grimm‘s upcoming eighth book in the series, but also hear an entire passage from the unpublished novel, read to us by Michael himself! We won’t give away the title, but we will tell you that this book won’t be in bookstores until May 2010. Lastly, Michael also told us about a new book series he wrote that is coming out in September 2009 about nerdy secret agents, called Nerds.

After lunch, we had a visit from our second author of the day, Rebecca Stead, author of When You Reach Me and First Light. She revealed to us the real-life story that inspired When You Reach Me – a New York Times article about a man who had lost his memory and was trying to find out who he was – while also explaining how she integrated experiences and memories from her own life in the Upper West Side into her book. Then, thinking about what might motivate or inspire us to write about our own lives, Rebecca gave us some writing prompts about memory to free-write to, getting our creative juices flowing and even sparking some ideas for future stories that we can write!  We had a great discussion with Rebecca afterwards, about When You Reach Me and the writing process.

Both of our visiting authors were funny and fantastic to listen to as they talked about their works and answered all of our questions. We have some great photos from the entire day below!

Author Michael Buckley reading an excerpt from Book Eight of "The Sisters Grimm"

Author Michael Buckley reading an excerpt from Book Eight of "The Sisters Grimm"

Lydia tries out an invisible ink pen and a booklet for "Nerds"

Lydia tries out an invisible ink pen and a booklet for "Nerds"

Lucara reading about Michael Buckley's "Nerds"

Lucara reading about Michael Buckley's "Nerds"

Getting a first look at the cover for the new book of "The Sisters Grimm"

Getting a first look at the cover for the new book of "The Sisters Grimm"

Getting an autograph!

Getting an autograph!

Michael signing our "Sisters Grimm" books

Michael signing our "Sisters Grimm" books

Group photograph

Group photograph

Rebecca Stead and campers discussing "When You Reach Me"

Rebecca Stead and campers discussing "When You Reach Me"

Shh... silence and concentration during a free-writing session

Shh... silence and concentration during a free-writing session

Rebecca signing our books

Rebecca signing our books

Lining up for autographs

Lining up for autographs

Group photo with Rebecca Stead

Group photo with Rebecca Stead


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