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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 Two Day Five

Published on July 21, 2017

Friday arrived so quickly! And, boy, our last day was a good one. In the morning, we had a visit from Adam Shaughnessy, author of The Unbelievable FIB: The Trickster’s Tale. He told two stories about how he wrote the book, and asked us all to decide which one was true. The (condensed) stories were these:

In the first story, he decided because of  his love of sharing stories with kids that he would write a kids novel. For National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), he wrote the first draft of what became The Trickster’s Tale. From there he revised, sent the book out to publishers, revised a bunch more, and finally reached a version that was published. To prove how much the book had changed, he read the opening passages from the first and final drafts. He also told us that this experience taught him the most important thing about writing: that you have to let yourself write badly before you can write well.

In the second story, he began an investigation into something called The Unbelievable FIB after hearing two separate groups of children talking about it. He received a riddle in the mail and the answer to the riddle led him to a mysterious man named Mr. Fox. It was Mr. Fox who told him the secrets of the Unbelievable FIB. Unfortunately, Mr. Fox does not photograph well, but luckily Brady was willing to volunteer to dress up as Mr. Fox and give us an idea of what he looks like.

The room was pretty mixed when it came to opinions about which story was true.

The campers then got a chance to become Fibbers themselves, and to do so had to not only take an oath but figure out the code to open a locked box which contained invitations to join the FIB and official Fibber ID cards.

After lunch and some games in the Thalia Theater, the campers worked on a project that used the information that they had learned about publishing books. In teams of two, they designed front and back covers to books about this week at camp. The catch? The books had to have some kind of genre other than straightforward nonfiction. We had a lot of gory horror stories. This was followed by a quick activity in which campers created scavenger hunts and then exchanged and solved them.

At last came the share! In the Thalia, campers went on stage and shared projects, plays, riddles, card tricks, and more! Many campers also gave book recommendations (the complete list will be at the bottom of this post).Finally, we had a lovely goodbye party with treats and hugs and cards that campers had each other sign.

It’s been an amazing week and all of us here hope everyone has an amazing summer!

Book Recommendations

“The Sultan’s Tigers” by Josh Lacy

“The School for Good and Evil” by Soman Chainmani

“Colossal Paper Machines” by Phil Conigliaro

“Warriors” series by Erin Hunter

“House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer

“George” by Alex Gino

“The Best Man” by Richard Peck

“Counting By Sevens” by Holly Goldberg Sloan

“Murder is Bad Manners” by Robin Stevens

“The Candymakers” by Wendy Mass

“Orphan Island” by Laurel Snyder

“Pax” by Sara Pennypacker

“The Thing About Jellyfish” by Ali Benjamin

“The Wheel on the School” by Meindert DeJong

“Malory Towers” and “St. Clare’s” by Enid Blyton

“A Tale Dark and Grimm” by Adam Gidwitz

“The 39 Clues” (different authors for each book)


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