Thursday, July 8, 2010

the author's world becomes real...or as close as can be

If I were a kid today I would totally be begging my mom to go to Literary Camp. How come they didn't have stuff like this when I was 11?! When we were kids, my sister and I were busy playing dorky spy games around our backyard, ducking behind bushes hiding from the neighbor mowing his lawn on a summer Saturday, and practicing karate rolls, but now kids can actually go to a camp where having a rather large imagination that one is an actual warrior is accepted and cool. Plus, they get to learn real archery, camouflage, covert movement, and tracking, among other rad things - yes, I said rad. Based on John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series, BookPeople set up camp in Austin, Texas, where 75 lucky kids between the ages of 9 and 14 got to spend five days learning the skills that Flanagan's characters learn in his books. Other literary camps have been based on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series (think Lightning Thief) and Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi's Spiderwick books. (side note, I saw Holly Black speak at Books of Wonder in NYC a few years ago, before I knew who she was. She was awesome!)

a bad guy at Ranger's camp, no doubt

A letter written to the literary campers by John Flanagan in the voice of Will Treaty, a fictional character at the camp, states that the apprentices "...will learn the secrets of putting an arrow exactly where you want it in the target..." and " blend into the background so that nobody can see you." They also are told that they will learn "...other important things like loyalty to your friends and companions, like respect for your instructors, like honesty, and perseverance when things seem a little tough."

learning the mad skills from the dude with the breast-plate, ya'll

It seems like more of these literary camps will be popping up over different locations all over the nation, which makes me happy to know that kids are reading books and their imaginations are coming alive. After all, picturing the world that the author creates really is one of the best parts of reading.

only learning the skills of how to be stealth could get kids to sit at such strict attention

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