________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 21. . . .January 31, 2014


Trouble in Paradise. (Camp X).

Eric Walters.
Toronto, ON: Puffin/Penguin Canada Books, 2010.
289 pp., pbk., $8.99.
ISBN 978-0-14-318898-8.

Subject Heading:
World War, 1939-1945-Secret Service-Canada-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4



I was getting pretty hungry by the time I heard the sound I’d been waiting for- our front door opening and closing with a soft click, followed by my father's cheerful, “I’m home!” and his footsteps heading toward the kitchen. I wondered if I would ever get over the feeling of deep relief whenever I heard those sounds. They announced that all was right with the world again. I’d missed them during the time my father was fighting overseas. I smiled, and when I looked up, I could see that Jack was smiling softly, too.

And then came the sound we could have lived without: my mother’s raised voice explaining, in exasperated tones, what “your sons” had been up to now. The poor guy had barely had a chance to loosen his tie before getting the news of the day.

I climbed off my bed and went to the door so I could hear better - though I really didn’t want to hear it.


Trouble in Paradise, the fifth in the “Camp X” series, has been re-released with a cover that will appeal to older readers. This story, which could be read as a stand-alone because of the recaps and summaries throughout the chapters, sees the Braun family reveal their secret lives to one another. And when 12-year-old George and his 15 year-old brother Jack interrupt Little Bill’s sting operation to catch the people involved in an espionage ring, the whole family is reassigned to work at the Princess Louise hotel in Bermuda. While Mrs. Braun is cracking codes in the mail room, and Mr. Braun is working as second in command of detachment, the boys work alongside Ray, an expert pickpocket and master of disguise. The brothers take what they learn from Ray to find millions of dollars in stolen art and to rescue a kidnapped British princess, who also happens to be Jack’s new girlfriend. Although there are no secrets between the family members now, the brothers are still learning to trust one another. Their past experiences with Camp X may have made them expert spies, but that experience includes being suspicious and careful with others. Walters sets this story in Bermuda, and Nazi Germany is the enemy. Few characters are to be trusted, and the boys continue to lie to their friends and classmates about their spy activities (rugby games explain away their injuries), but they manage to become close to a couple of girls their age. The flirting and kissing is minimal, but it’s included in a couple chapters. Readers who enjoy fast-paced spy stories may enjoy this book.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

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

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