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On the bookshelf: A selection of great reads for all ages

After the final bell rings and school’s out for the summer, many children will either be heading off to camp for the first time, experiencing a new camp or returning to the beloved one they attend year after year. The spring months are a time to prepare for these upcoming, exciting summer experiences which can have a lasting impact on children.

In addition to talking with your child about what’s in store for them, a great way children can learn and become excited about camp is through the wondrous world of books.

Books about summer camp experiences get children’s imagination and excitement flowing and often include worthwhile lessons on trying new things, making new friends and being brave while away from home – not to mention consistent reading over the summer helps children stay sharp.

The following are several books on camp that received rave reviews and come highly recommended by the American Grandparents Association:

“The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp” 

by Stan and Jan Berenstain [Ages 3-6]

Berenstain Bears books are timeless classics to which kids can relate year after year. The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp is a great read for first-time day campers and their parents – a story of how apprehension soon turns into fun.


“The Fabulous Bouncing Chowder”

by Peter Brown [Ages 4-8]

When Chowder the dog goes off to the Fabu Pooch Boot Camp, he just doesn’t fit in. Chowder tries his best, but all of his attempts fall flat. As the pups prepare for the First Annual Fabu Pooch Pageant, Chowder tries to think of a way to stand out from the crowd.


“Runaway Ralph”

by Beverly Cleary [Ages 7-11]

The story of a feisty mouse named Ralph who, annoyed by his family, runs away with his toy motorcycle and finds himself at a summer camp. Beverly Cleary speaks to children’s imaginations in this lighthearted, simply told story of friendship, adventure and loyalty.


“Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom”

by Rachel Vail [Ages 7+]

The angst-ridden summer diary of introverted 8-year-old Justin. The book has a way of addressing kids’ anxieties with age-appropriate seriousness, along with plenty of silliness where it will do the most good.


“Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy” 

by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis 

and Shannon Watters [Ages 10+]

Five best friends – Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley – spend the summer at Lumberjane scout camp defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves and giant falcons. Lumberjanes is a series sure to keep readers engaged from beginning to end.

“Camp Out! The Ultimate Kids’ Guide” 

by Lynn Brunelle [Ages 10+]

In this information-packed manual, readers can learn how to read a compass, pitch a tent, purify water, make s’mores, keep a field guide and even read the stars. A mix of practical advice and fun activities.

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