This is a two-for-one book review. These two MG books are the first in a series about the kids at Camp Avalon (aka Camp Average). In the stories, the villain is the camp director: Winston of the short red shorts. He’s obsessed with winning (it’s even in his name: Wins-a-ton). And his focus is to bring Camp Avalon up to speed as a bonafide sports camp. But the Camp Average kids are going to have something to say about that…
Camp Average // by Craig Battle (2019)
Opening Line: It was late June, as always, when the buses arrived.
My Thoughts: The books follow Mack (11 years old in this one) and his ragtag group of friends from Cabin 13. All (or at least most) of them just want to do fun camp things like swimming. However, camp director Winston puts them on the baseball team. Mack leads the (secret) charge in trying to lose every game. He even convinces his good friend Andre, who actually really is a good baseball player.
I think what I enjoyed best about the books is the friendships that develop. There’s the youtube star who is kinda quiet. And the prankster who keeps losing his “silver dollar”. And there’s the kid who has no athleticism at all but is great with stats. Winston is a formidable opponent who seems to be able to match Mack and his buddies step for step… until he makes a promise. And that promise might just lead the Camp Avalon team to victory against their arch-rivals at Camp Killington.
Camp Average: Double Foul // by Craig Battle (2020)
Opening Line: Mackenzie Jones had seen this look on his friend’s face before.
My Thoughts: This time, the Camp Average kids are focused on basketball! At first, Mack refuses to leave his beloved swimming activities, even though basketball’s his favorite sport. But, one by one, all the camp activities mysteriously get shut down… leaving only the sports team. Oh, and rocketry. Mack’s convinced it’s due to Winston, and he’s not wrong when all the swimming facilities suddenly open up when Mack joins the basketball team!
This summer, the camp has opened up to girls. So in order to prepare for the big sporting event at the end of camp, the boys’ team plays the girls’ team. But Mack and his friends decide to give Winston a little more grief as they sabotage the practice games. (They really don’t want Winston to win!) But when Winston does his own sabotage, they suddenly change their minds and try to figure out how to play the game.
This book has a nice lead into what appears to be a third book.
A fun series about a sports camp. These books reminded me a lot of Gordon Korman’s books, especially those with a definite sports angle.
Have you read either of these books? What did you think?
*Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…