by Julie Sternberg, published 2013
“As she handed me back my most worn-out underwear, I realized she wasn’t going to be at camp with me at all. Not even to help me put my things away…Or tuck me in, under my thin sleeping bag.”
This is one of three children’s books by Sternberg written about Eleanor, and written in the best possible way for early readers – short and simple lines. It’s never intimidating to pick up one of this books, and at least attempt to read it. The reward is a terrific encounter with a very ordinary girl, who can be quite dramatic about the ups and downs of childhood.
In this particular children’s book, we go away with Eleanor to summer camp, which, as one might expect, starts out dreadful, and ends up wonderful. This is a great book for any young child going off to sleep-away camp for the first time. It’s done with humor, honesty, and interest. Let me state it more clearly – you can’t help but laugh, even while the emotions run high.
I hope we continue to get more of this kind of children’s book. It would be great to feature a boy protagonist in some of them, as I think it could help reluctant boy readers. Meanwhile, I think this one is best for the girls.