Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Who Says Summer Camp Has to Be Boring?


Night Camp is my children's book for middle grade readers. It's available in print and in ebook. Reader response has been terrific and the book has 14 great reviews so far.

About the book:  Who says summer camp has to be boring? A spooky graveyard. A creepy basement. A pair of coffins. Thirteen-year-old Shane Andrews hates summer camp. When his parents allow him to choose, Shane decides to pick the worst camp he can find. Night Camp must be terrible. For one thing, activities take place at night and campers sleep during the day. That can’t be good, Shane reasons. His parents will realize Night Camp is even worse than they thought and they’ll come back to get him. Then Shane’s plans for summer freedom fall apart. His cousin Brad, a boy with a huge collection of tabloid magazines, convinces Shane that two of the camp counselors are vampires. Shane enlists the help of Brad and a girl camper named Nicole. The three set out to save themselves and the other campers. Then Shane uncovers the secret of Night Camp… 

A short excerpt from Chapter One where Shane and his parents are sorting through stacks of brochures to choose a camp.

            "Where do I put this one? It doesn't fit in any of the other stacks. What's Night Camp anyway?"
            "Let me see it."
            I took the brochure from my mother and studied the cover. If I stared at the red letters on the front long enough with my eyes sort of scrunched closed the letters seemed to run toward the bottom of the page almost as though they were dripping.
            I shook my head and blinked a few times to clear my vision. I opened the brochure. The paper on the inside was white, but the words were printed in the same blood red color as the cover. At the top of one page a picture showed a bat in flight as it swooped after a mouse racing for its life through a clearing.
            "Something different," I read out loud. "Let your child experience the richness and beauty of our planet at night. Camp activities include canoe rides by moonlight, exploring the environment at midnight, studying the night animals and insects, and stargazing, among others. Buy peace of mind. Know that your loved one isn't outside getting charbroiled in the noonday sun. We guarantee no sunburns!"
            I paused. I was wrong about all camps being alike. I read back over the part about buying peace of mind. A shiver rocketed up my spine. It sounded like an ad for a funeral home. Funeral directors were always calling people loved ones. I opened my hand and dropped the folder onto the table as though it had burned me.

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