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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 5

Published on July 25, 2014

Farewell, Week 2! Today marked the last day of our second session. We started  the day with “Night at the Museum,” our favorite indoor game, and then moved into our “end-of-week Share.” At the close of each week-long camp session, we hold a group discussion where everyone can share anything they like — topics include favorite books, authors, and moments of the past week, other beloved authors and books, and sharing of any special talents, stories, and tidbits. After this, we headed for lunch and free time in the park.

Here were some of the books that this week’s campers recommended:

The Secret Hum of a Daisy

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Kiki Strike Trilogy

Murder Most Unladylike

Chomp (but beware, it’s bloody and gruesome)

Same Sun Here

The Neverending Story

Wolf Princess

Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey

The School for Good and Evil

Iron Thunder

Revenge of the Whale


Fablehaven Series

Janitors Series

Under the Egg

Lincoln’s Grave Robbers

Liar and Spy

When you Reach Me

The School of Fear

Inside Out and Back Again

The NERDS series

The True Meaning of Smekday

Percy Jackson and the Oympians

The Kane Chronicles


After lunch today, we met with our final Week 2 author, Lisa Graff, author of A Tangle of Knots. Lisa began by telling us a little bit about herself growing up. We learned that her family has a long-standing tradition that on everyone’s seventh birthday, they have a gigantic party, and make a seven-layer cake. She even had a photograph of herself as a 7-year-old, working on her very own seven-layer cake. So it is no surprise that when she grew up, she wrote a book where baking cakes plays such a major role. She also told us that when she was a kid, she was often jealous of her older brother, who was very intelligent and had many talents. This has influenced many of her books, as she is interested in stories where people need to find what they are good at doing. She also talked about some of her favorite books, and the ways in which they inspired A Tangle of Knots and motivated her to be a writer in general: Holes, The Babysitters’ Club, Matilda, Romona, and many others that we know and love as well. We had a chance as well to ask many questions of Lisa about the book.

After our discussion, Lisa led a great cake-related activity. She showed us a series of photographs and descriptions of different kinds of cakes. Then we each received a character-building worksheet, with spots to fill in the name, age, personality, and other details of a character. We each chose one of the cakes, and then created a character based on the details of the cake: Is she sweet? Cold? Hard on the outside, but gooey on the inside? Sometimes a little sour? Nutty? It was a delicious, creative exercise to stimulate our ideas about character development.

It’s a good thing Lisa was our Day 5 visitor, because after her activity we were VERY hungry — and just in time for our last day party! Sharing some snacks and sweets, we said our final farewells to a spectacular week at the Thalia Book Club Camp! Some of you we will see again for Week 3, and to the rest, on to next summer!


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