Review Blog

Mar 22 2019

Happy Camper! By Shamini Flint

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Ill. by Sally Heinrich. The Susie K Diaries. Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760528287.
(Age: 7 - 10) Recommended. Themes: Camping, Life skills, Problem-solving, Friendship. The idea of going on a school camping trip is very stressful for the main character, Susie K., who is much more comfortable sleeping in her own bed with her skeleton and the school goldfish.
She feels pressure from her mother to succeed on this trip and she uses her excellent problem-solving skills and her reading to help her out on this new adventure.
This is the fourth book in this series and a brief introduction of the main character at the beginning means it can stand alone as a good read for younger readers.
Written in cartoon style with predominantly pictures and speech bubbles telling the story, younger readers will find this an easy read that maintains a good pace.
Susie K. develops well as a character and assists the other students during the first part of the camp and an unlikely friendship is formed when she is separated from the group with a girl who is not usually in her circle of friends. The goldfish provides amusing comments that add to the story.
This book is not one that can be read aloud to the class as it relies on the illustrations to tell much of the story. It would be a good introduction to the Graphic novel genre for younger students. If read by a group, it could provide an avenue to discuss trying new things and expanding horizons for children who find it difficult to get out of their comfort zone.
Gabrielle Anderson

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