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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 Kids Book Club Camp, Week 3, Day 4

Published on July 30, 2015


Today was a really busy day! We spent the first part of the morning playing a story building game. We all stood in a circle and one by one, added sentences that began with either “Fortunately…” or “Unfortunately…” Our result was pretty funny!

When we got back to the camp room, Jude Watson was waiting for us. Jude is the author of Loot, and has also written a lot for The 39 Clues series. She started off by telling us that even when she was very young, she always liked to read mystery and adventure stories, which is what she writes now. Before she became an author, she worked in advertising, in a publishing house, and as a high school teacher, before becoming a full-time writer.


Jude told us that a writer’s job is to take emotion and turn it into a spark for a story. If you combine action and emotion, you’ve got a story! She told us that she uses personal experiences to inspire her works, and when she gets writer’s block, she takes a walk, draws pictures, or eats cookies! Then we did a writing activity, where we created an action scene inspired by Loot. We had to stage a jewel theft and so we drew boxes for four things — Characters/Setting, How they get in, How they steal the object, and how they get away.

We had our books signed, and then Jude gave us each a pair of sunglasses, which appear in the book!

After lunch in the park, we headed to The Society of Illustrators. There, we saw an exhibit called New York View” which was all about the art in the New York City Subway. After taking a look around the museum to get inspired, we each redesigned an existing subway station. We added disco balls, juice bars, and created murals that incorporated some of the art we were looking at.


Then, inspired by the “Poetry in Motion” series, we each wrote a poem about or inspired by the subway and its art. Here are some of the poems we shared:


Cultures clash
New Yorkers dash
to get a ride on the subway

War breaks out
grown men pout
to get a ride on the subway


“Full Moon”

The clear blue sky
As the color dies out
And as darkness and dear
Enter the world

But it’s never frightening
All because of a faint glow
Shining with confidence
Crystal clear in the night sky
Pure white
Everything seems to click together
With the perfectness of
the Full Moon 


Before we knew it, it was time to head back to camp. Despite the downpour, we made it! Tomorrow we welcome Elise Broach, and have our Friday share!

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