Plot: Ten year old Camille McPhee tells us all about her fourth grade year at her Idaho elementary school. Camille is feeling lonely because her best friend Sally just moved away to Japan and her cat Checkers has gone missing. She is trying to make it through the year without her best friend, but things aren’t looking good. Also, Camille has low blood sugar so she has to carry extra food around in a cooler to help maintain control of it she gets bully at school all the time. She literally slipped on some ice and fell under the school bus. She knows her parents love her, but is seems like they don’t love each other anymore, they are constantly fighting. Life just seems to be unfair for poor Camille McPhee.
Review: This is a touching story with a lot of sorrow and unfairness. Camille tries to stay positive, but it is just so difficult when she has to deal with so many things at one time. She is a surprisingly strong and hopeful character that keeps on trucking through the muck that is being thrown at her. She is able to stand up to the bullies at school and she reaches out to find a new friend. This narrative is full of humor and quick witted dialogue that will crack up readers and keep them wanting more. Although things are bad for Camille she continues to try and understand the importance of honesty and fairness. Children will enjoy the slapstick humor of this book.
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Friendship/Humor
Reading Level/Interest Level: 4.5/3-6 graders
Similar Materials: The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, by Eric Berlin, A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck
Reader’s Advisory: This is a hilarious book even though is has some very sad and depressing parts, it’s hard not to laugh at Camille and her unfortunate ways. Life is what you make of it and Camille does a great job of staying optimistic. I highly recommend this book to younger children, they will get a laugh out of it.