Can Hal survive Camp Jamestown or will he becometh history?
Having completed sixth grade, Hal Rifkind was happy to put Mr. Tupkin’s time-capsule journal project behind him, but now he starts a new journal addressed to some future person (or alien) as a form of solace when his history-obsessed father sends him to Camp Jamestown, where it’s always 1607. Camp owner Mr. Prentice is nice enough, but he says “ye” and “thee” instead of “you” and won’t stop calling on Hal despite Hal’s lack of historical knowledge. Of course Ryan, who tortured Hal last year, is also at the camp. Thankfully, Hal makes new friends, and they have a treasure map of camp that may pay off. Also, skilled pioneer camper Cora seems interested in being friends…maybe history camp won’t be so bad. Without the time-capsule conceit of the previous book, the journal format in Campbell’s second Cartboy title falls flat. Doodles, timelines and photos again extend the story, but the clichéd appearance of the bully from home, Hal’s dad’s lack of character growth, and the coincidences and logic leaps that characterize the treasure hunt make this sophomore effort truly sophomoric. Even the ample fart humor can’t save it.
Fans of the first will probably be disappointed; at best, it’s a desperation read-alike for Big Nate or Wimpy Kid. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 9-12)