REVIEW OF CAMP CROC

You know that Camp Croc is going to be full of action from the title and the graphic picture of a giant hungry looking crocodile on the front cover.

I was also drawn to the main character, Daks. Who could not love a kid with a name like that? And of course, Mr Longbottom is the ideal name for a teacher – especially from his student’s point of view.

Daks and his mates are off to a once-in-a lifetime orienteering camp but they’re going to find more than they bargained for.

When the kids find a sign, “Danger! Your safety cannot be guaranteed beyond this point. Students must stay within camp boundaries at all times”, you know something big is going to happen.

What starts out as a bit of a lark turns dangerous when the kids come across wildlife smugglers in the bush and it seems that their only means of escape is across crocodile infested waters.

And when the plan they come up with backfires they seemed destined to become crocodile dinner.

This is a truly Australian story and I couldn’t help giggling at Trewin’s lively turn of phrase.

“I was swimming one day – in the stinger net – thinking I was as safe as broccoli at a birthday party, when I bumped into a log. Except the log was a five-metre-long crocodile.

Trudie Trewin’s humorous text and great cliff hanger chapter endings keep the reader turning the pages, and despite the heart pounding action, she manages to keep the laughs coming.

The text is broken up with Dak’s hilarious and perceptive Dak’s facts. A school camp is something readers will relate to and the destination, Cape Tribulation provides an ideal backdrop for adventure.

Author, Trudie Trewin seamlessly incorporates the setting detail into the story so that readers can picture themselves there but aren’t distracted from the action.

There’s also the odd gross description to appall and delight readers.

Camp Croc is a hilarious adventure story that will captivate readers. The text is simple, the dialogue realistic and the action non-stop – making it a great choice for reluctant readers.

Camp Croc is published by Walker Books in their Lightning Strikes series. Teacher’s notes are available from the Walker Books website

 

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE INSPIRES “CAMP CROC”

Today, we welcome Queensland author, Trudie Trewin to Kids’ Book Capers. She’s here to talk about her writing adventures and her hilarious new children’s book for readers aged 9-13, Camp Croc.

Writing is something that Trudie says she always thought she’d have a go at “one day”.

But I had imagined I would write for adults. A random comment about children’s stories by a co-worker when I left for maternity leave got me thinking. Eventually, the thinking turned to doing, and I found that writing for kids was something I loved.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Having an excuse to daydream! The freedom of being able to work anywhere, anytime.

What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

Convincing my family that lazing by the pool is how I mull over and fix up a plot I’m having trouble with!

What were you in a past life (if anything) before you became a writer?

In reality, I worked in finance, but if I could have my choice of any career…I’ve always thought being an astronaut would be pretty cool.

What is your greatest writing achievement?

Okay, this is pretty hard to admit, but I’m naturally lazy – so every time I move from just thinking about a story and jotting down notes, to the moment I have to actually sit down and write it all out is quite an achievement for me!

Do you have any tips for new writers?

Read lots, write lots, talk to other writers lots, accept constructive criticism, and follow your heart.

Anything else of interest you might like to tell our blog readers?

I love to sing, but I am truly terrible at it. When my boys were babies I used to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ to them at bedtime, and without fail they would always put their hand over my mouth, and as soon as they could talk, they would say ‘stop’ as well. Now I sing just to embarrass them!

ABOUT CAMP CROC

It’s about four mates who sneak away from a school camp, only to find themselves getting into hairy situations, or should I say, scaly situations, with both local wildlife and some wildlife smugglers.

What inspired you to write this book?

I read a newspaper article about a woman who went for a swim in one of our local beaches, and really did bump into a crocodile – and lived to tell the tale. I couldn’t stop thinking about what must have gone through her head when she realised that she was face to face with a croc – so I wrote a scene where a boy swims into a crocodile, and Daks was the character that bolted out of the water. I knew then that any character that had been through that ordeal deserved a whole story, not just a scene!

Can you tell me about the main character and what you like/dislike about him/her?

Daks has a somewhat dry sense of humour, enjoys the company of his mates, and has an adventurous streak – but like all kids his age, his taste for adventure grows considerably in the presence of his mates. He can be hesitant to make new friends, but once he has he’s very loyal.

Are there any teacher’s notes, associated activities with the book?

Yes, on the Lightning Strikes website.

Is there something that sets this book apart from others?

Probably the humorous observations Daks and his friends make. Even in the face of danger they manage to find something funny to comment on.

What did you enjoy most about writing Camp Croc?

The action in it. There were times when my heart hammered faster than the keyboard as the boys lurched from one dangerous situation to the next!

What was the hardest thing about writing this book?

Trying to work out how the boys were going to get free when they were tied up to the trees. I even tied my boys up to trees to see if what I described was possible! Oh that reminds me…. better go and untie them now…

Camp Croc lovers will be pleased to know that Trudie is currently working on another story involving Daks and his mates.

On Friday we’re reviewing the hilarious Camp Croc here at Kids’ Book Capers.

Pics for this post were supplied from Trudie’s blog.