A lighthearted camp romp with just enough danger and misadventure to keep the pages turning.

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ZACK'S STORY

From the Boys Camp series , Vol. 1

Eleven-year-old Zack Wilson has dreamed of summer camp his whole life, and here he is at Camp Wolf Trail having the time of his life in this debut volume in the Boys Camp series.

There’s a map challenge, swim tests, breakfast cleanup duty, an expedition looking for animal tracks and a mistake that could cost Zack the trust and friendship of his new Birch Cabin buddies—and that’s just the first day at summer camp. The Outdoor Adventure Guide has always been Zack’s favorite book, in which a city boy like him could learn everything about the great outdoors—navigating by the stars, using a compass or starting fires. But it lets him down when he most needs it, and Zack must learn a lesson about taking a stand and owning his mistakes. Later, on a mountain hike, the lesson learned comes into play once again, and in a short time, Zack goes from chump to hero, and camp now feels like where he belongs, among his new friends. Combining simple, fast-paced prose, a third-person voice and italics to indicate Zack’s thoughts, Dokey crafts a high-spirited, good-natured story of a young boy finding his place in the camp world.

A lighthearted camp romp with just enough danger and misadventure to keep the pages turning. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62087-528-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the...

CHARLIE BUMPERS VS. THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR

From the Charlie Bumpers series , Vol. 1

Charlie Bumpers is doomed. The one teacher he never wanted in the whole school turns out to be his fourth-grade teacher.

Charlie recalls third grade, when he accidentally hit the scariest teacher in the whole school with his sneaker. “I know all about you, Charlie Bumpers,” she says menacingly on the first day of fourth grade. Now, in addition to all the hardships of starting school, he has gotten off on the wrong foot with her. Charlie’s dry and dramatic narrative voice clearly reveals the inner life of a 9-year-old—the glass is always half empty, especially in light of a series of well-intentioned events gone awry. It’s quite a litany: “Hitting Mrs. Burke in the head with the sneaker. The messy desk. The swinging on the door. The toilet paper. And now this—the shoe on the roof.” Harley has teamed once again with illustrator Gustavson (Lost and Found, 2012) to create a real-life world in which a likable kid must face the everyday terrors of childhood: enormous bullies, looming teachers and thick gym coaches with huge pointing fingers. Into this series opener, Harley magically weaves the simple lesson that people, even teachers, can surprise you.

Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the sarcasm of Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56145-732-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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