Youth Book Corner: Let’s Go Camping

Last week we highlighted some reading- and writing-related summer camps. This week, our Outreach Coordinator, Leena Desai, recommends some books about camping that will make even the most reluctant camper want to strap on a backpack and venture outdoors.

Kits, Cubs, and Calves: An Arctic Summer
Written by Suzie Napayok-Short, illustrated by Tamara Campeau

While winter in the Arctic is quiet and spent indoors, summer is when it comes alive with the sights and sounds of animals, birds and lots of majestic sea creatures. If your plans for the summer involve visiting the Canadian Arctic, then you might experience the same thrill that Akuluk does in Kits, Cubs, and Calves: An Arctic Summer. Akuluk is spending the summer with her family in Nunavut and goes out on a boat with them. There on the ocean, Akuluk sees a family of belugas, a mother polar bear and her cubs, and even Arctic fox kits. She learns from her aunt how each animal cares for their young and knows how to share the land and the sea with others. Akuluk enjoys her family time and also learns valuable lessons about respecting animals and the environment they live in. Grades K to 2

The Not-So Great Outdoors
Written by Madeline Kloepper

Staying at home as much as all of us have lately has exponentially increased the amount of time we spend in front of our screens; and when you live in a busy, bustling city, it is easy to forget that there’s an entire world where things run to the rhythm of nature. In this book, a little girl is made to go on a camping trip and complains about having to give up electricity and other city conveniences. But when she’s in the forest and sees the lakes and mountains for herself and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she is won over and realizes that nature can put up an equally spectacular show as what she sees on TV. This is a book that reminds us all about the need to go out in nature and inspiring a love for the outdoors in the younger generation. Grades Preschool-2

The Canadian Kids’ Guide to Outdoor Fun
Written by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Claudia Dávila

Summer can be overwhelming; there is so much to do and not enough time! If you’re struggling with the overabundance of options, this book might just be the answer to your question about what exactly to do this season. As the title says, this book is a guide to all kinds of outdoor and indoor games and activities you can plan and play: whether it’s building a campfire and decoding secret signs or making fresh lemonade and drawing tattoos. There are hundreds of ideas to keep boredom (and television screens) at bay and engaging DIY projects that are fun and educational. Grades 1-6

Camp Average
Written by Craig Battle

If your idea of a sports summer camp is stretching your legs, chewing the fat with your friends and moving just enough muscle to qualify as having played a sport, then you’re with Mack, Andre and their buddies at Cabin 10. They’re at Camp Avalon, which they’ve dubbed “Camp Average,” because they never win any sport, not that they want to. Their lofty plans of being strictly average are, however, shattered when they meet the new camp director Winston, who hates losing. Hilarity ensues when the boys devise elaborate plans to lose every game they’re made to play and Winston barking orders at them. Anyone who has ever had to reluctantly play sports—and feign enthusiasm while doing so—will feel for the boys and enjoy reading this book, the first in a series of misadventures at Camp Average. Grades 3-6

The Horse of the River: A Camp Canyon Falls Adventure
Written by Sari Cooper

Staying away from home for the first time is always a frightening prospect; going away for camp to master a new skill and prove to others that you are really good is doubly so. Twelve-year-old Gillian is a bundle of nerves when she reaches Canyon Falls summer camp for horseback riding. And as if things cannot get any worse, she is paired with Beauty, a beautiful silver-gray mare who has a reputation for being uncontrollable. Things for Gillian, in fact, do get worse. An accident caused by a fellow camper injures Beauty and she rides off into the wilderness with Gillian saddled onto her. Alone in the wild, Gillian has to learn to overcome her fears and find her way back to the camp. This is a moving story about proving to yourself and others that you are greater than the sum of all your fears. Grades 6-8


Leena Desai