I just learned from Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf about the coolest summer camp ever, going on right now in my old stomping grounds of Austin, Texas. Local independent bookstore BookPeople is hosting Camp Half-Blood, in honor of Rick Riordan's books The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters. The camp, being held in Zilker Park's rock garden, features the 13 cabins from the books (one for each Greek god). Opening night included a "claiming" ceremony, Greek dance drumming, and a guest appearance by Rick Riordan, on his own birthday. How cool is that? My favorite quote from the article was this statement by Rick Riordan: "It was like stepping into my own book, and it was the first clue that something I had written was larger than me."
The full PW article is here. Rick's post about the camp on his blog is here. He notes that, despite weapons training, "so far, no injuries have been reported." Don't you wish you could go to this camp, too? Maybe they'll franchise, and Camp Half-Blood will come to your part of the world, too.
I also happened to notice a young girl at the Chicago airport yesterday, reading The Lightning Thief, while her apparent twin sister read one of the Harry Potter books. Kids after my own heart! Quite a phenomenon, these Percy Jackson books.