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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 1

Published on July 14, 2014

Summer 2014 begins! Today marked the very first day of the Thalia Book Club Camp summer 2014 session, and our first of three weeks with 9-11 year old campers. We started the day with several activities on stage at Symphony Space, playing a few get-to-know-you games, sharing interesting information about ourselves and our favorite authors and books. On the first day of camp each week, we run our traditional “mini-book-groups” where the campers get to participate in a speed-conversation about each of this week’s books. After five minutes, a bell rings, and the campers run to the next book. It’s a great way to get a taste of each book all at once, to get to know one another, and lots of fun!

After a sadly rained-in lunch and a few more games in the theater, author Matthew Cody joined us for his afternoon presentation. Matthew Cody is the author of Super, Powerless, The Dead Gentleman, and the most recent Will in Scarlet, which is our first selection for this summer. (Some may also remember Matt as a teaching artists from last summer, a role he will reprise later this year).

Matt’s presentation began with some hilarious tales from his childhood, and about his early love of comic books which led into a life-long adoration for reading and writing. We then began to discuss the book, Will in Scarlett, which takes on the story of the 13-year-old boy who runs away from his noble family to join a merry, elusive gang of bandits. We learned about the origins of Will Scarlet, who was a prominent member of Robin Hood’s Merry Men, and first appeared in ballads and tales from the 1300s. Matt told us about the many varied interpretations of this character, and how he came up with his ideas.

Matt offered us some great insights into the research he did for the book on 12th century Europe, including some cool facts about castles and folklore, and some GROSS facts about 12th century hygiene.

After that, we did an activity on illuminated manuscripts, to prepare for our visit tomorrow to the Morgan Library. It was really fascinating to look at this centuries-old practice of visual storytelling.

Before departing from our thrilling first day, we split into groups and made a list of our favorite books, here’s an exciting taste!

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
The House Above the Trees by Ethel Cook Eliot
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Golden Compass
by Philip Pullman
A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


and MANY, MANY more!


See you tomorrow!


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