Thalia Book Club Camp is a unique program geared toward avid readers and writers ages 9 - 14, offering up-close interaction with favorite children's book authors and illustrators. Campers will meet with children's book authors, take part in book discussions, engage in writing, drama, drawing or other activities related to the books, and go on book-related field trips around New York City.
Author guests have included a diverse line-up of established writers and illustrators alongside emerging talents, each with a unique perspective on books and writing. Some of the highlights have included a rare visit with Norton Juster to discuss his classic The Phantom Tollbooth, intimate conversations with Award-winning authors Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me), R.J. Palacio (Wonder), Linda Sue Park (Wing & Claw series), Peter Brown (The Wild Robot), Jason Reynolds (The Boy in the Black Suit), and Lauren Oliver (Liesl and Po), bestselling authors Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm), Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted), Pseudonymous Bosch (The Secret series), Maile Meloy (The Apothecary), Wendy Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life), Chris Grabenstein (Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library), and Nova Ren Suma (The Walls Around Us), as well as introductions to writers such as Claire Legrand (Some Kind of Happiness), Leila Sales (Once Was a Time), Neela Vaswani (Same Sun Here) Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper)andRenée Watson (This Side of Home). Campers have also met with illustrators including Chris Raschka (Seriously, Norman!), Sophie Blackall (Missed Connections), graphic designer Chip Kidd, and Percy Jackson cover artist John Rocco, who led a workshop on cover design. Other book related activities included a book-making workshop with the Center for Book Arts, cartooning with graphic novelist Matt Phelan (The Storm in the Barn), and an exploration into comic books with Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy) and Raina Telgemeier (Sisters).
Each week, we go on a couple of adventures around the city with our author guests. In the past we got the chance to go on a top-secret field trip with Brian Selznick (author/illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret) to the Queens Museum of Art and the old World’s Fairgrounds to hear about Wonderstruck a year before the book was published, a reporting adventure with NY Times reporter Michael Winerip (Adam Canfield series), a Kiki-Strike-related field trip through the West Village with author Kirsten Miller, a visit to the Greek and Roman galleries at the Met with George O'Connor (The Olympians series), an afternoon at the Bronx Museum of Art with the 2010 National Book Award-nominee Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), a tour of a special whale exhibit at the Museum of Natural History with Margi Preus (Heart of a Samurai), a backstage visit at the New Amsterdam Theatre with actor and author Tim Federle (Better Nate Than Ever), an exploration of The Frick Collection with Laura Marx Fitzgerald (The Gallery) and a trip to The Colbert Report to meet with a team of comedy writers.
In addition, campers visited with editors, designers, and publicists at Random House Children's Books where they received a surprise visit from Christopher Paolini (Eragon).
We also got a backstage tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company's reconstructed Stratford-upon-Avon theater at the Park Avenue Armory with Elise Broach (Shakespeare's Secret), met with the audio book production team at Penguin Random House, explored the Ambrose Lightship at the South Street Seaport with writer and illustrator Brian Floca (Lightship; City of Light, City of Dark), visited the Trinity Cemetery with Matthew Cody (The Dead Gentleman), and took book-related trips to the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art, The Joffrey Ballet School, The Cooper Hewitt Museum, The Museum of the Moving Image, The Tenement Museum and the New York Hall of Science, among others.
"An awesome place to make friends, learn, have fun, and meet authors all at the same time!"
"An amazing camp where you use your imagination and have fun with people who understand you and your writing."
A parent's comments:
"I felt that a lot of thought and care went into making the camp a quality experience. The books and authors were amazing. The counselors were enthusiastic and related well to the kids."
"My daughter loved it! She was with people who love books as much as she does and she was challenged in a fun and creative way. The only camp she loved every day!"