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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 4 Day 5

Published on August 8, 2014

Well, we can hardly believe it, but here we are at the very last day of Book Club Camp 2014. This morning began with a special craft activity to get excited about our visit later on. Inspired by the world of Andrea Cremer’s The Inventor’s Secret, the campers designed steampunk accessories and posed for photographs. Check out our new styles: 


After fully accessorizing, we greeted author Andrea Cremer for her lively presentation. She began by telling us a little bit about her background. Andrea didn’t know she wanted to be a professional writer until her adult life, after earning a PhD in History and working for five years as a professor at Macalester College. One summer, she was a horseback riding (one of her favorite pasttimes, and which features in some of her work!), and a very large horse stomped on her foot, crushing it and breaking many bones. Stuck on her couch for the a few months, she decided to try her hand at writing and fell in love. That first book, which became the first in her Nightshade series went on to be a New York Times bestseller. A few years later, Andrea quit her job as a professor and turned to writing full time. She told us that when she first began to write, it felt like “falling in love for the first time.”
Andrea then gave us a little bit more background of the steampunk genre and style that is a large of her book The Inventor’s Secret. She said she first became intrigued by steampunk as it combined history and fantasy — two of her favorite things. Steampunk is used by writers like H.G. Welles or contemporary writer Scott Westerfeld. We also had a lengthy conversation about — cookies! Together with Andrea, we came up with what kind of cookie each character in the book would be.



After getting to ask her loads of questions about steampunk, fantasy, and her novel, she asked us to each design and draw an invention that we would create and add to the world of The Inventor’s Secret.   

It was sad to say good-bye to our very last and very wonderful visitor, but eventually Andrea’s presentation came to a close and we headed out to the park for lunch and a giant game of Capture the Flag. Back at Symphony Space this afternoon, we put together our traditional last-day “share.” On the last day of camp each week, we each have a chance to get up on stage in front of the group and share anything we like. It can be a story, a talent, a skit, or you can talk about things you love like certain books or activities. It doesn’t need to be book or camp related, just related to you! We got to hear several original stories read out loud, see some creative costumes. A few people gave recommendations for new books, which we always appreciate! We also played a few games — a few of campers led a pass-along story exercise that led to some hilarious results. We also played a long game of telephone which was similarly hilarious. Then we enjoyed a made-up game where contestants closed their eyes and point to a word in each of three books held up to a random page. The game coordinator writes those words down, like “marriage,” “cell,” “tomorrow,” and the contestant has to try to make up  a story using those three words – in as little time as possible. 

With reading, writing, art projects, field trips, and new and old friends. It was a smash-hit summer, and the Thalia Book Club Camp staff sends their grateful thanks and fond farewells to all. We hope to see everyone next year!! Registration opens in January 2015. Until then, adieu!


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