In the Books featuring DANIEL THE CAMP-ER by S.J. Henderson

Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring DANIEL THE CAMP-ER by S.J. Henderson.

Disclaimer: I was an editor for this novel, but that doesn’t affect my honest review.

About the Book: There are a few simple rules Daniel follows.

Rule One: never let an adult see your weakness. Daniel made that mistake and look where he ended up—summer camp.

Daniel the camper

Rule Two: never make fun of the person who feeds you, unless you like Miss Gunderson’s peppery pancakes and green hamburgers.

Rule Three: stay away from girls who love Glitter Ponies. They have cooties, after all.

And Rule Four: never, ever lose your magic pencil.

But Daniel has broken all of his own rules. Now he’s stuck and starving at Camp Bigfoot with the school bully as his bunkmate and an ooey-gooey girl who won’t leave him alone. If all of that wasn’t bad enough, his prized possession, a pencil that brings his drawings to life, has gone missing and wacky creatures are popping up all over camp.

Can Daniel survive Camp Bigfoot and find his magic pencil before it’s too late?

My Review: Though this book is slated for the age group of 6-12, but anyone looking for an entertaining read can enjoy this. I think I mentioned this in previous reviews, but I love reading children’s books. There’s something about them that brings back the “good old days” and the innocence of a kid’s life. More than that, DANIEL THE CAMP-ER really captured the thoughts and voice of a nine year old boy. Everything from not liking girls at that age to dealing with bullies and coming up with excuses and reasons that sound perfectly logical in our heads, but fall flat when spoken.

One of the things I really don’t like about many books is the need to talk down to the reader or make sure to put things I an ultra-positive learning type of format while making the characters appear two-dimensional. I’m glad to say that didn’t happen here. In fact, I saw a lot of myself in Daniel and couldn’t stop laughing from the beginning. The tongue-in-cheek manner the book is written follows the thought patterns of a young boy. We’re nowhere clean or elegant while trying to navigate the confusing world around us.

The one negative about the book was the adults running the camp. There were times I wondered how or why any of them were there, as they seemed to lack a certain touch when it comes to dealing with kids. This concern faded when I looked at it as their actions were being told to us through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy. There isn’t a child alive that doesn’t embellish or make up stories to go with what they saw, so this wasn’t really an issue for me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the first and third installments as well. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with being a kid again.


About CP Bialois

Where do I begin? Well first I guess it's only fair to say that CP Bialois isn't my real name. It's a collaboration I made out of the three greatest pets anyone could ever want. My real name is Ed and I'm just an average person that has found a way to do what he loves. For as long back as I can remember I loved to pretend. Whether it was with my Transformers, GI Joe, or He-Man toys I loved to create intricate plots and have them fight it out. As a fan of horror, science fiction, action, and comedy I dare say my taste in movies are well rounded. Some of my favorites were Star Wars, Star Trek, martial arts, and anything with Swarzenegger in them. I'd write my own stories about the characters I saw in the theaters or TV or I'd just daydream about what I'd see myself as the hero of course. You can't have a daydream without beating the bad guys, getting the girl, etc. It's just not right to envision yourself as a flunky or sidekick. As far as books I loved Sherlock Holmes, Treasure Island, Dracula, and the normal assortment. My early love was the Star Trek novels, I'd read them or the Hardy Boys relentlessly. For a time I could tell you the plot of over a hundred books not to mention comics. I have to come clean and say that I learned to read because of comic books. I was bored, make that extremely bored when we started to read in school. Reading "the cat fell down" really didn't interest me. My dad, who continues to astound me with his insight to this day, figured comics would work. With that in mind he went to the newstand in town and bought issues of Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Tales From the Crypt, and Spider-man. He patiently read through them with me until I picked it up. Whether it was him or the comics I learned to read in about two weeks and for a while few were as good as I was. For years after that whenever we'd go out he'd always spring for a couple of comic books for me. While it wasn't exactly the perfect beginning everything I've ever read or have seen has influenced me in some way and now is the time I'd like to share some of the ideas I've had over the years with all of you. I hope you enjoy my stories, they're always fun to write and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.
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