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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 1

Published on July 21, 2014

Week 2 begins! Today we welcomed some new campers and some returners from last week. We also are thrilled to welcome our Week 2 Teaching Artists, Mr. Matthew Cody, Symphony Space friend and author of Powerless, The Dead Gentlemen, and Will in Scarlet. This morning, we started off with a few games, including our get-to-know-you bingo and Red Light, Green Light. Mid-morning, we conducted our traditional mini-book groups, which we do each summer, each week on the morning of day 1. For five minutes each, campers join up to have a on-the-spot literary discussion of each of the camp books. After the five minutes are up, a bell rings, and campers run to another meet-up to discuss their next book. Everyone gets to choose which order they discuss, and campers can even stay at one group for more than one session if they are extra eager about any particular book. It’s a great way to refresh our memories of the books, brainstorm questions we want to ask the authors later on, and find out what we each loved the most.

After a few more games on the big stage in Symphony Space’s Sharp theater, we headed out for a picnic lunch in the park nearby, which also included a lively game of Capture the Flag. After lunch, we greeted our Day 1 author, Lee Bacon, author of the Joshua Dread series. Joshua Dread is about a boy named Joshua whose parents are supervillains, who begins to discover some suspicious powers of his own. Lee began his discussion with a few interesting tales about his own origins. He told us about the process of thinking up Joshua Dread and the challenges to getting it published. He also told us some of the inside stories about the book’s production, and we even got to see some early versions of the Joshua Dread covers.

After a short reading from the newest volume of Joshua Dread (book 3), Lee led us in a super-fun exercise to build our own superhero story! Lee brought out a big pad of paper with spaces cut out where we could fill in details about our own superheroes and supervillains. We filled in details about Toxidy, our hero, and Panther, our villain, in a sort of Mad-Libs style activity with Lee, and then he gave us a few sentence of the beginnings of a story. We each then had a chance to write our OWN story, using the group’s original ideas as a starting off point.

After writing for a little while, several campers stood up and shared their own stories… it was fascinating to see all the different ideas we had and the many silly and scary adventures of Toxidy and Panther.

After getting all of our books signed and bidding farewell to Lee, day 1 came to a close!

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