________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 5 . . . . October 26, 2007

cover

Campfire Morgan (First Novels; 38).

Ted Staunton. Illustrated by Bill Slavin.
Halifax, NS: Formac, 2007.
61 pp., pbk. & hc., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-88780-721-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-88780-725-1 (hc.).

Subject Heading:
Camping-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Sandi Harrison.

**** /4

excerpt:

I think about it anyway—Dracula Vampire Bats; T-rex-sized killer salamanders; grabbing mutant poison-ivy fingers; oozing slime-green outhouse monsters. The flashlight makes a ghost circle in the black. We creep up the path. It’s cooler here, even though I can still hear the campfire crackling. Our feet crunch on foresty stuff. I wait for the mutant poison-ivy fingers to grab us. A mosquito buzzes in my ear. I swat at it and bump Aldeen. She doesn’t care. She is so close she is almost in my shoes. I don’t even mind. What if there are oozing, slime-green outhouse monsters?

When Morgan brags to his buddies about his upcoming camping trip, third-grade bully Aldeen wants to go too. The problem is, Morgan has told a few untruths about the great outdoors, and as such, he is concerned about the outcome of an entire weekend in the bush with a bully. Aldeen’s parents send her along on the trip despite Morgan’s protests, and that’s when the fun (and sibling rivalry-like jealousy) begins.

     Ted Staunton’s Campfire Morgan, with lively, cartoon illustrations by Bill Slavin, is a fantastic, short novel for children to try reading on their own. Staunton’s writing is lively, imaginative, and entertaining. Easy readers/early novels sometimes feel choppy or uninspired, but Campfire Morgan keeps the pace. Staunton’s descriptive writing offers dynamic character growth, an amusing, well-timed plot, and a smorgasbord of fun words that children will enjoy learning (and repeating). Staunton’s writing feels genuinely as though he is writing from the perspective of a second-grader, and not as an adult attempting to do so. It is this talent that makes Campfire Morgan a true success.

Highly Recommended.
 
Sandi Harrison, who completed her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at UBC in May 2007, is currently in the Education program at SFU.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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