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Night Camp Kindle Edition
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Shane finds himself faced with the prospect of attending summer camp again. To spite his parents he chooses the worst-sounding camp possible, but will his rash action come back to bite him?
"Night Camp" is a book probably aimed towards 9 - 12 year olds and would make a good reader for boys in particular. Shane and his cousin Brad end up in a camp where all the activities are at night and the campers sleep during the day. The tabloid-wielding Brad becomes convinced that camp leaders, Colin and Trevor are actually vampires and in convincing Shane, commences an investigation to find proof and a way out of what has now become a very dangerous camp experience.
This story was a lot of fun and written well for the target age group. The simplicity in style didn't blunt the intrigue at all and I found myself eagerly anticipating how the author was going to resolve the mystery. Additionally, you did get some insight into Shane as a main character: his reactions to feelings of abandonment, his discomfort around girls and his growing unease about the decisions he was making.
Young children do like to get a bit of a scare and I think this book delivers without becoming too sinister or alternatively, too watered down. I think the younger set will get a kick out of it. There may even be a lesson or two in there, but I didn't feel like I was being bludgeoned to death with them which is always appreciated.
Is it for adults? It clearly isn't the target audience, but I certainly didn't resent the experience, so I think adults could enjoy it. There are many moments of embarrassment felt by the characters which might seem a little silly to an adult, but I think the author has done a good job writing from a child's point of view. If the reader can appreciate the story from that same point of view I believe it loses that silliness.
I don't read children's fiction often, but this was a fun visit. I hope this story can make its way into the hands of children so that they can experience the anticipation, creepiness and overall enjoyment of reading "Night Camp".
In Night Camp, Shane's parents are forcing him to go to summer camp, and in retaliation, he insists upon going to the strangest camp he can find - Night Camp, where campers sleep all day and explore the world at night. But soon after their arrival, Shane, his cousin Brad, and fellow camper Nicole begin to suspect that the people running the camp might be vampires.
Overall I found Night Camp to be a cute and engaging story about the adventures of kids at a summer camp. It brought back lots of memories of my times at summer camp, and I found myself wishing that I too could have spent my summers living in a castle and exploring caves instead of the much more traditional cabins and canoeing that I remember. Of course, I was also grateful that I was not entirely cut off from adults and the outside world while at the mercy of people who I suspected might want to use my blood as a midnight snack.
Night Camp was written for a younger audience than what I usually review, and I sometimes had a difficult time putting myself in the mindset of a younger child. If I were to encounter a vampire, I would immediately try to determine which of the many vampire mythologies in fiction most closely resembled the creatures with which I was presented. But clearly the average 13-year-old does not have the experience or analytic capability to try to understand vampires on this level. To him, a vampire is simply a blood-sucking monster, though whether such an assumption is fair is the whole point of the book.
While I don't know that I would recommend Night Camp to my usual audience, it is definitely the kind of thing that might appeal to the ten-year-old in your life.
When I was a kid at grade school, there would be assemblies showing different day camps with horseback riding, fun around the camp fire, etc.
I'd go home pumped wanting to go to summer camp, and to my dismay, my folks said - NO WAY - Wasn't the money - My 1st generation Greek American parents didn't want their kid to go somewhere they didn't know - So I have no first hand experience with going to Summer Camp - at least sleepover Summer Camp.
Apparently Shane Andrews does. His parents ship him off to Summer Camp each summer, and then strike out to do their own vacation adventure.
Usually they pick a camp for him - this year they promise it will be his choice where to spend these weeks.
Looking at all the brochures before him, he picks the one camp that sounds so off the wall - all activities will be held at night, etc. He chooses this camp hoping his parents will be freaked out by the camp's strangeness.
But NO! They are cool with it and drop him off at the designated place.
The 'camp' is a castle! The 'counselors' are nice, but really strange. All activities are indeed done at night time and for those who object to having to go to bed before dawn are looked at directly in the eyes and zap! they fall asleep!
Something is happening here!
Shane and his cousin, and new friend, Nicole, soon think the camp is run by vampires! They think the campers are meant to be 'lunch'!
Therein lies the understory of the book - does being different mean being evil, or bad?
Night Camp is a really cute book with a message that won't hit you over the head. It will be enjoyed by the young it was intended for, but kids of all ages.
Perhaps older readers will recall their summer camp adventures - or like me, wonder about how cool summer camp must have been. Especially a camp as different as Night Camp.
Cute, good read!
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