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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 1 Day 5

Published on July 26, 2013

Can you believe that it’s the end of the week already?? We started our last day like we started the first: with some story ball! We created some interesting ideas and sentences by each adding a word as the ball was bounced across our circle. After that, Matt gave us some pictures of historical figures to get us thinking about other time periods since our guest today was Steve Sheinken, the author of Lincoln’s Grave Robbers. Matt asked us to brainstorm some questions and ideas about the people in the pictures. Some of us started writing stories using the ideas we came up with about the historical figures we were given.

Pretty soon, it was time to meet Steve Sheinken! Steve told us about how he used to help write history textbooks and would always get frustrated that the stories he found most interesting were left out of the books. After a while, he decided to turn these exciting historical stories into his own books! He told us about a student he tutored who loved bringing up a story about the time that Steve jumped around the room after he burned his hand on a light bulb. The student always brought up the story and remembered it because it was so funny and crazy! Steve said that he always thinks about this when he writes his books – people remember things that are interesting and out of the ordinary.

After some Q&A, Steve read a short account of another grave robbing from the back of Lincoln’s Grave Robbers for us to use as inspiration for our own stories about grave robbing. Some of us shared our short scenes, which included a story from the perspective of a dog in a house nearby the graveyard, some from the perspective of passersby, and a few stories from the view point of the corpses themselves!

For lunch time today we headed up to Grant’s Tomb. Steve came with us, and although we couldn’t go inside the building, we were able to get a nice group picture outside! We spent some time in the park and then headed back to Symphony Space for our shadow puppet plays. After a little bit of rehearsing, we performed short plays with the puppets in small groups.  We had many silly stories to tell!

Finally, to wrap up the day and the week, we had some snacks and drinks together and shared some our favorite books with one another. Here is a list of the books that were recommended:

Camper Book Recommendations:
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
13 Gifts by Wendy Mass
Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Revenge of the Whale by Nathaniel Philbrick
Dreamer by Cathy Hopka
The Phantom of the Opera by Bronwyn Chochinov
Wild Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff
Kira Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles
The Odyssey by Mary Pope Osbourne
Aliens for Breakfast by Stephanie Spinner

Thanks to all for a wonderful week! We’re looking forward to seeing many of you back for Week 2 of Thalia Book Club Camp 2013! Pictures from today to follow.

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