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School Campout (Shooting Star series)

by Becky Citra

Mr. Foster’s Grade 3 class is going on a camping trip. Everyone thinks it’s a great idea – everyone except David, who is terrified. What if they get lost? What if there are bears? To make matters worse, he has to share a tent with Bradley, the new kid in class. Bradley, a city kid, probably doesn’t know the first thing about camping.

As the story unfolds, the reader watches as the class prepares for the trip, arrives at the ranch, and does some exploring. With each step, David learns more about Bradley, about his closest friends, and especially about himself. While David has to face some of his deepest fears (not fitting in, looking foolish, being lost), he also does some things he can be proud of (not telling the others that Bradley is afraid of the dark, helping to find Bradley when he goes to explore a night noise). By the end of the story, the characters find a new understanding of each other and break down some walls in communication.

Part of the Shooting Star series, this novel gives seven- to nine-year-olds a fast-paced read with a familiar situation (school), an element of surprise (the camping adventure), and a happy ending. The print is large, the vocabulary appropriate, and the story inviting. Young readers will identify with the concerns of the Grade 3 kids. And if they’ve never been camping, this book will no doubt spark an interest.