DeCamp, Alison My Near-Death Adventure, 246 pgs. Crown Books for Young Readers, 2015. $16.99. Language G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G.
This “99% True!” story revolves around Stan Slater, an 11 year-old boy who has recently learned that his “dearly departed father is actually just long-lost.” Stan is sure that his father is off on grand adventures, so he writes letters to himself from his father. Stanley’s life becomes upended when he and his mother and Granny (who he believes to be 99% evil) head to a lumber camp where they help prepare meals for the lumberjacks and Stanley is forced to meet up with his cousin Geri, who he considers one of the most terrifying females alive.
Pros: There are ads and magazine covers from the 1800’s sprinkled throughout the book that Stan references and adds his own writing to. The story is well written, funny, and based on the author’s ancestry. Cons: a humorous coming of age story in an 1880’s lumber camp might not appeal to middle school readers.
EL/MS – OPTIONAL. Michelle in the Middle