Tag Archives: summer camp

Summer reading 2018 – the first post

7 May

Although I still have six and a half weeks of school to go, my mind is already turning to summer reading. What is more stereotypically summery than summer camp?

I only went to Girl Guide camp once. It was the summer between grades 7 & 8 and about 4 of us went from our small-town troop. We shared the same tent and I have very fond memories (and one really funny one) of the whole thing.

Vera Brosgol’s experience wasn’t as great and she uses her memories of camp to tell a less pleasant experience in Be Prepared.

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Publisher’s Summary: In Be Prepared, all Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!

In writing class, my students have been working on theme-based essays, turning the protagonist’s life lesson into a universal. Brosgol does that exceedingly well. Although Vera’s camp is centered around Russian scouting, it speaks to the universal desire we all feel to fit in.

 

Wild and Wary

1 Jun

Perhaps you’ve seen the dog dictum from Francesco Marciuliano’s collection of dog poems I Could Chew on This:

We were wolves once

Wild and wary

Then we noticed you have sofas

It has toured social media in a variety of memes. To illustrate this point in a non-meme way, Lucy is snoring beside me, in my bed, while I write this post. This is the first summer in eight years that I will have only one dog and I have promised Lucy that we will have some adventures together. Before she fell asleep, I read Lucy a bedtime story about one dog’s adventures.

Andrea Zuill’s debut picture book, Wolf Camp,  combines the idea of the wolf ancestor with summer adventure at a camp where city dogs can get in touch with their inner wolf.

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Publisher’s Summary: Meet Homer, a dog who heads to camp to live like a wolf! Here’s the perfect book for the legions of kids out there who love dogs and funny books.

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