Review Blog

Aug 29 2016

Ella Diaries: Worst camp ever by Meredith Costain

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Scholastic Australia, 2016. ISBN 9781760157180
(Age: 6-10) Recommended. School camps. Pranks. Competition. Ella's really excited about going to the school camp. She's looking forward to doing all the activities but is determined to keep writing in her diary. Discovering that Peach Parker is in the same cabin makes this a bit difficult, but she covers the diary with a disguise: a cover called 'What unusual animal is that? A field guide and workbook'. Then she faithfully records all the fun and games, food and pranks that happen at the camp as well as the scary moments like hearing spooky noises at night and having to go on the giant swing.
Filled with humorous comments and delightful little illustrations, the reader is taken on a fun trip as Ella and her friends navigate through the complexities of sharing a cabin and having to work in a team with people they don't like. Readers will laugh out loud at the pranks that the campers get up to and empathise with Ella as she overcomes her fear of heights. The mechanics of team work, friendship and petty rivalries are brought out subtly and in a funny way in Ella's handwritten diary and cute drawings.
This series is one that has a lot of appeal especially to children who enjoyed Dork Diaries and the Wimpy kid series. Worst camp ever can be read as a stand-alone and children are sure to want to find others in the series.
Pat Pledger

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