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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 2

Published on August 4, 2015

The second day of camp was a great success! We dropped off our stuff off in the camp room, played a few games, and headed over the American Museum of Natural History. Nicole was waiting for us with our passes and we went to the Hall of Ocean Life. There, below the largest mammal hovering above us, Nicole explained our activity. Inspired by Michael Buckley’s Undertow, Nicole asked us if, hypothetically, Michael was stuck on creating another genre of Alpha, what would we come up with to help him. We were allowed to pick a species from all the life-like models and pictures, draw it with great detail and turn it into an Alpha with descriptions of how we had chosen certain features.




Inspirations and incredibly imaginative connections overflowed : Lion fish, walruses, tuna, prehistoric calamari, and many more species graced us with the potential to become Alphas. Our campers not only made incredible aesthetic choices, but made intelligent and thorough presentations of their new Alpha.

We then headed back to Symphony Space to grab lunch in the  Joan of Arc Park.  A lot of our campers played capture the flag.  We played Apples to Apples or Sushi Go.  Those who felt like it spent lunch reading.

When we got back from lunch, we were greeted by S.E. Grove, author of the Glass Sentence and her editor! We shared our memory maps that we had made yesterday. S.E. Groves asked us what we had in mind when we were drawing our memory maps and if new memories popped up as we were drawing. S.E. Grove shared her map that started at the “Fields of Abundant Schooling” and ended at the “Marshes of Meandering”.

She asked us what our thoughts were about how a book can capture interest. Campers described reading books like “fireworks” and that slow books can make them impatient but too fast can curtail the desire to” ponder deeper”.

We then explored what a map does and what they are for. A map can find something lost, tell a story, create a fictional world. Or a map can make an argument or facilitate travel. A map is all a matter of perspective.

We then dove into the Glass Sentence and how important the maps were in the book. We were able to ask our questions. When writing the Glass Sentence , S.E.Grove had so many ideas but was frustrated by the constraints imposed by historical writing. Therefore,  she wrote about time travel. And all the characters are an expressions of herself. S.E. Groves’ editor talked about how the book came about and the process of editing.

S.E. Grove gave us a prompt. “What would it be like to arrive in a new time? How would you react if pirates captured you and sent you to a new time? What would you see? What would you do? What time period? Whom do you meet? ”

Campers had themselves “blindfolded in an icy wasteland”, trudging through “snow and seeing a glass building with no grass– a ground of glass”, or ” stranded for a few days on a snowy beached next to an abandoned city.” We presented our creations to S.E. Grove who relished all the details and worst case scenarios. We then got to get our books signed!






We ended the day with free time and some of us made “little book of wonders” !

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