Fans of the “Divergent” series by Veronica Roth can read the books and immerse themselves in Roth’s world via the new film adaptation of the first book in the series. And now Illinois devotees will have the chance to live in Roth’s world (the more benign aspects of it, anyway).
Anderson’s Bookshops, which is based in Naperville, Ill., has created a five-day camp session for “Divergent” fans that will be held this summer at a museum near the store called Naper Settlement. Three of the five-day sessions will be held in June, July, and August, respectively.
During the camp, which is aimed at tweens and teens, according to Publishers Weekly, campers will participate in activities based on the factions in Roth’s books. For example, one day will highlight the Abnegation faction, members of which are known for their selflessness in “Divergent,” and campers will compile food packages to send to Africa. On a day centering on the Erudite faction, whose members are known for their intelligence, campers will work on brain teasers. The day centering on the Candor faction will have local politicians tell campers the importance of morality and Amity Day will find them planting vegetables. On the day focusing on the Dauntless faction, the group to which “Divergent” heroine Tris belongs, campers will learn mixed martial arts.
Campers will also discuss other dystopian novels like the “In the After” series by Demitria Lunetta and the “Testing” books by Joelle Charbonneau, said Anderson’s Bookshops co-owner Becky Anderson, who told PW that Charbonneau and Lunetta will hopefully stop by the camp and that Roth herself might even make an appearance (no definite answer from the author yet, though).
Anderson said she got the idea for the sessions after hearing about the camps sponsored by the indie bookstore BookPeople, which is based in Austin, Texas. The store has hosted a camp based on Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series for the past seven years, in addition to hosting a camp centered around the “Ranger’s Apprentice” books by John Flanagan for the past four.
As for the camp based on Roth's books, “by the time you’re done with the week, you’re definitely Divergent,” Anderson said, referencing the status in which residents of Roth’s world belong to more than one faction. “You’ll learn something in the process and have a great time.”