Thankfully, the 21st century has brought challenges to tired assumptions about race, gender, cultures, families, and what brings joy in life. By showing, rather than telling, Boys Camp seeks to do our part by filling our stories with portrayals of boys with rich and complex inner lives, deep emotions, joys and fears, triumphs and defeats, and big hearts capable of great empathy – as well as goofiness and a love of adventure. We hope our books can gently widen, and we think make more true, how people think about boys.
We dedicate this effort to the many wonderful books and authors that we were raised on, and have in turn shared gratefully with our children. The cultural conversations carried on through the medium of children’s books continues, as we seek to build on classic values and timeless storytelling techniques, infusing them with today’s sensibilities and key ideas. For example, what it means to be a good friend (something all people have always needed to learn, in our opinion!)—which now, more than ever, includes peers from different races, ethnicities and countries.
So, we launched our series of books with Zack’s Story.
USA Today chose Zack’s story as one of four top summer 2013 reading recommendations! We’ve also topped the lists at WETA’s Reading Rockets, and on NPR’s Kojo Nnamdi Show, as recommended by Monica Hesse of the Washington Post…
Our second book is Nate’s Story, about a boy who loves birds, fears horses, and most adventurously, finds himself face-to-face with a forest fire–while riding a horse. Find out what happens!
Our third book is Zee’s Story, about a boy and his best friend at camp. They are practical jokers who can’t both go on a canoe trip across Lake Evergreen, but who work together to find the infamous Hidden Falls… or will they?
About our books:
Adventure. Action. Suspense. Exhilaration. Friendship. That’s what camp is all about. Boys Camp books will grab readers from the first word and keep them absorbed and engaged as the characters meet challenges both internal and external. The books will prove it’s true: Every boy has a great story to tell.
Our stories include realistic, contemporary tales set in the appealing, adventurous world of Camp Wolf Trail, a rugged summer camp for boys. Each book features a different boy, whom the reader can root for and identify with as he overcomes internal and external challenges presented by the wilderness, animals, weather, other campers, and his own personality. Deftly and subtly woven through the exciting plots full of action will be themes that support healthy, positive relationships with others and, most importantly, with one’s self.
The camp setting provides a perfect foundation for these stories: both modern and traditional, positive and familiar, built on timeless values. Camp cultivates the burgeoning independence of young people living away from their parents. The camp setting is instantly appealing to young readers. (Valerie Tripp’s book Molly Saves the Day, set at camp, continues to be a tremendous source of fan letters for Valerie).
At camp, the other people are strangers, from all over the world, of diverse backgrounds and a range of ages. Each camper can invent himself anew and discover who he is. Our campers will regularly set off on wilderness trips and face the reality that traveling in the wild is never predictable. Suddenly canoe partners need to navigate around a rabid deer trapped in the rapids. A group gets caught in a lightning storm. Bears steal the food; a trove of wild raspberries saves the day.
The sounds of the nighttime woods may be terrifying, a soaking storm uncomfortable, and a rattlesnake is crossing the path up ahead. Ultimately, the feelings of individual success combined with bonds of friendship forged during tough times are among the best feelings a child (or any person) can experience.
Each book finishes with an essay by a man or boy who can round out the story with some true tales of his own.
Find Zack, Nate’s and Zee’s Stories through these retailers:
In the words of others
From School Library Journal:
From Kirkus Reviews: