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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 5

Published on July 17, 2015

We cannot believe this was the last day of camp! We managed to enjoy every activity to its fullest and we had an incredible day!

We kicked off the day with games in the Thalia. Some were murdered while some were made into silent ghosts and some just wanted to be in the spotlight!




Quickly after, we got to meet Geoff Rodkey, the author of The Tapper Twins! Geoff (sounds like Jeff) grew up in a town and time where he would get bored easily. No Internet and a small town forced him to rely on his own imagination and the power of creation. He applied his imagination to writing for his school newspaper, Pretz News (after the mighty Pretzel mascot). He continued writing and became a successful screenplay writer who also writes children’s books.

Geoff’s perfect recipe for becoming a writer is as follows: 1. You have to be bored! 2. You have to read a lot (easy for our campers!) 3. Listen in English class so that you may know how to correct your drafts! The key question to any story is “what happens next?”. To answer that question, he told us we needed two things: 1. characters + 2. plot/problems — in short, we need a character with a problem!

Now, Geoff is a comedy writer. Therefore, we explored the key elements of what makes us laugh! We got to read a letter he sent to his son while at camp. Geoff had not had a chance to write because he had been training to become a Olympic wrestler– unfortunately he failed miserably. We got to make the other campers laugh with our own stories! Other people in physical pain seemed to be a camp favorite!

After experimenting with comedy writing, we said bye to Geoff and headed out to lunch. We played  Capture the Flag, a Soccer game, and Apples to Apples.




Lunch was a blast and with that great humor, Matt asked us to explore genre through book covers. What makes a book cover convey a genre? What attracts us to certain book covers? Matt then asked us to design our own book cover to illustrate this week at camp using two genres picked at random. Some had “fantasy” and “romance”, while another combo was “tragedy” and “western”. We got some great book covers to show next weeks campers!




After our book cover extravaganza, we went to the Thalia to “share”. Some of the books that were recommended are as follows:

Roller-girl by  Victoria Jamieson

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

Everything for a Dog by Ann M. Martin

Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate

Keeper of the Lost City  by Shannon Messenger

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

After a fabulous “share”, we got to party with cupcakes (and home-made chocolate chip cookies!!) and lemonade! Some signed our camp photo while some exchanged emails. We were sad to say bye but we know you will keep reading and stay in touch with us!


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