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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 11, 2016

After months of anticipation, we can’t believe that the first day of Thalia Book Club Camp is already over! It was a great start to what will surely be a fantastic week. The day began with some get-to-know-you activities so we could learn a little bit more about our fellow campers. We went around in a circle and told the rest of the group the title of our favorite book. Everyone made a distinct pose in response to indicate whether we liked, loved, or hated that book. It was an amazing way to get tons more book recommendations from new friends!

After some games, we did a mini book club activity, modeled like speed dating for books! Each staff member led a discussion about each of the 5 books, and every 7 minutes a buzzer rung and everyone moved to a different book group. Everyone had tons of awesome opinions about how to interpret complex endings or strange characters, and each camper thought of  really unique questions to ask authors during their visits.

Right before lunch, we did an activity related directly to The Hound of Rowan: Word Clouds! Our teaching artist, Madeline, encouraged everyone to write words associated with each character from the book on cloud-shaped pieces of paper taped to the wall. The words could be nouns or verbs or adjectives, so each ‘cloud’ was really diverse!

After eating lunch in Riverside Park – which included our all-time favorite game, Capture the Flag – we returned to the camp room to meet Henry Neff, author of The Hound of Rowan! He shared a few of his favorite books with us, describing them as ‘old friends,’ and we all brainstormed reasons why we LOVE our favorite books so much (suspense! characters we can relate to!)

drawing villains!

Henry Neff sharing his wisdom!

Lots of eager questions and comments!

Henry told us all about his inspirations for the Tapestry series, including ancient Irish mythology. He even passed around some character and scene sketches, so we could see all the details close-up! After discussing why villains are important, and what makes a good villain, everyone had a chance to illustrate or describe our own villain in our own story. The ideas were insanely detailed for such a short brainstorming session! We can’t wait to hear more.

After Henry’s presentation, everyone received a fun T-shirt to wear on field trip days. After getting our books signed, we bid Henry adieu.

book signings!

book signings!

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s visit with Phil Bildner, and a trip to the Central Park Zoo!

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