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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 Book Club Camp: Week 2 Day 2

Published on July 31, 2012

Day 2 started off with a bang! As soon as the campers were settled comfortably into their seats, we were joined by Michael Beil, author of Summer at Forsaken Lake. We were immediately treated to the main source of inspiration for his book: a short film called “the Seaweed Strangler” which Michael made at age 13, with his brother and some neighborhood friends.  The film was a big hit amongst our campers, inspiring some gasps and many giggles at the comedy-thriller.

Following the film, Michael gave us a brief and spirited lesson on the importance of “show, don’t tell” in our writing. In groups of 3, campers were given sentences such as “they were terrified” or “she was funny” and then challenged to remove the pesky “were” and “was” with more elaborate descriptions. Everyone rose to the task brilliantly, creating some hilarious situations and sharing them with the rest of the group.

After some enthusiastic Q + A with Michael, the campers lined up for their daily author autographs before departing for the subway en route to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

This field trip proved to be tons of fun, both interactive and purely educational. Michael Beil accompanied us there, too. After a quick workshop about the origin of the moving image (where campers made their own optical illusions on cardboard!) and a relaxing lunch in the cafeteria, we spread out in our field trip groups to tour the museum’s many attractions. We dubbed our own voices into scenes of famous movies, worked with animation, made video flipbooks, studied the importance of soundtracks, and perused movie props and costumes. It was a great day, and many of us vowed to return with our families for more media fun!

We finished up the day with a romp in the playground before boarding the subway back to Manhattanand returning to our comfy chairs in the Thalia studio camp room for some free time, where we all do what we do best: reading, writing, and playing games with our fellow campers!

It’s been a really memorable day–see everyone tomorrow for our visit with R.J. Palacio!




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