The final week of Thalia Book Club camp has begun! Today we met the last group of our teen sessions. The day began with a few games in the theater inspired by both Starglass by Phoebe North and Jepp, Who Defied the Stars. We discussed the difference between fate and free will – what parts of our lives are determined by our desires and opinions, and what is out of our control? We also discussed power relationships – what scenarios in our life cause other people to limit our control? We then divided into pairs and wrote and acted out scenes where an authority figure restricts the options of another person.
We then moved into our special Monday mini-book groups. Each of our staff members led 8-minute discussions about each of the five books that we’ll be exploring this week. We all got a chance to share our thoughts and opinions on the books, and prepare some incisive questions and curiosities for the authors we’ll meet this week. After 8 lively minutes, campers switched over to another book, and so.
After our book discussions, we met Phoebe North in the camp classroom and had a lively discussion about her science-fiction, dystopian novel Starglass. Phoebe explained how she decided what things should and shouldn’t go into the novel – for example, Starglass contains some snippets of Yiddish and Jewish culture, which Phoebe felt was important and true to her own background. Other things were more spontaneous – there are cats in Starglass simply because she likes them!
We had a chance to ask questions about the book’s publication too – how the cover was chosen, what the book’s title could have been, and even that the main character had a different name the entire time she was writing the book! She also shared a few secret details about Starbreak – the book’s sequel, to be published next summer.
After our engaging conversation, we headed out to the park for some external inspiration. Phoebe instructed us to make a list of all the different things we could see around us – paying special attention to things we can see, touch, hear, feel, or taste. We then used the list as a word bank to make our own stories.
A few us shared our gorgeous compositions after we returned from the park. Some of the stories were wildly different from what we actually saw in the park – it was awesome to see that observing the same scene could inspire such dramatically reimagined narratives in each of our minds.
We then each brought our books to be signed by Phoebe, and bid her farewell. Day 1 was a success.