Monday, December 04, 2006


Literary Day Camp

Man, I'm so jealous. I wish they'd had something like this when I was a kid. I've never met Topher Bradfield, so far as I know, but he's one of my new favorite people.

Last June, Austin's BookPeople hosted an innovative program: Camp Half-Blood. The week-long day camp for children, inspired by Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, took its name from the "half-bloods," the children of Gods and humans who populate the novels. A total of 55 kids attended from such far-flung states as New York, Colorado and Iowa, and even Greece, and inquiries came from England and Japan.

The event was such a success that its organizer, BookPeople's children's outreach coordinator Topher Bradfield, is now planning eight more. The first, based on The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, is scheduled for December 26–31. Camp Spiderwick will be followed in 2007 by camps based on Half-Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer (March), Abarat by Clive Barker (August), the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix (October), the Charlie Bone books by Jenny Nimmo (November), Babymouse by Jennifer and Matt Holm, and Bone by Jeff Smith (both December). And Camp Half-Blood will return for another run in the summer.

I would have flipped my lid as a kid if I'd been able to spend a week at a camp devoted to Anne McCaffrey's Pern books, or Richard and Wendy Pini's Elfquest, or something like that. Or Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom? Forget about it. (Though I imagine they wouldn't have been able to follow a strict Barsoomian dress code, come to that...)

So if you'd been able to spend a week at a literary day camp as a kid, what book or series would have been its inspiration?

Either the Hardy Boys camp or the Wm. S. Burroughs Naked Lunch camp.

Okay, most likely the former.
Always great to meet a fan of Barsoom. Here's some refs:

Bill Hillman
Editor and Webmaster for the
Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Sites
Weekly Webzine
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