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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blog Tour: Pip Goes to Camp by Donna L. Peterson

PIP GOES TO CAMP (The Misadventures of Phillip Isaac Penn)
by Donna L. Peterson
Bonneville Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4621-1077-3
Grades 2-4
Reviewed from copy provided for blog tour.
No compensation received for review.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Pip's parents are sending him to summer camp--the one place he absolutely, definitely does not want to go! Now he's in for eight whole days of torture: playing games, making crafts, and boating on the lake. But worst of all are the people! From Whiner Winston keeping him awake all night with his complaining to Corrector Cora sticking her know-it-all nose into everyplace but her own business, Pip will need to do whatever it takes to get himself kicked out of camp and sent back home where he belongs. 

Pip is a rather likeable kid, despite his tendency to act first and think later. A very human tendency, especially for children. Pip has a hard time knowing how to deal appropriately with the other kids around him, especially the ones who annoy him, like Bossy Billy or Joker Joey. Sometimes he responds well and stays out of trouble and other times he doesn't. 

One thing I like about this series is how Pip continues to learn about good and bad ways to respond to different people and their idiosyncrasies.  And he does stand by his friends and is willing to admit when he messes up.  I don't particularly like the labeling of children by monikers such as 'whiner' or 'corrector' when people have a variety of weaknesses and strengths and can't be defined by just one characteristic. However, I do understand the authors point about the dangers of those kind of behaviors. I also didn't appreciate that the counselors were more than willing to blame Pip simply for being nearby when others made poor choices. Sometimes he did carry some of the blame but not always. Of course, that's realistic, after all life is rarely fair. And as a teacher, I can say that while I wish I were always fair, I'm no more perfect than anyone else. Reading this book makes me want to be more careful about assigning blame. There is much here worth discussing though about friendship, choices, and mistakes.

Check out the rest of the tour here.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely agree with you as far as kids and labels are concerned. But I wonder if the author was trying to portray kids the way they truly act as opposed to being politically correct. It's not uncommon for kids to give *themselves* labels. But yes, using it as a springboard for discussion lets us have the best of both worlds--a dose of realism combined with questioning our motivations!

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