Camo Girl

Author:  Kekla Magoon

Reading Range:  3rd grade(AR Finder)

Interest Range: 5-8(Follett Library Resources)

Plot:  Z has been Ella’s friend from third grade.  He is the weird kid in school always in his head having adventures.  He was the one who helped Ella through the worst day of her life, her father’s funeral, with his stories.  Since his father left and his mother lost their house, he retreated further into his head away from reality.  Ella tries to protect him as best as she can when their other friends leave them and start to tease Z over his differences.  Things start to change when a new boy, Bailey, comes to school.  Ella is not the only African-American student in school anymore.  Ella starts to develop a friendship with Bailey but her new friendship starts to threat her old one with Z. Ella is struggling with accepting herself and waiting to be popular.  There is a scene in the book where Ella walks with her eyes closed to the bathroom so she does not see her face in the mirror.  Her skin is camo toned with light and dark patches.  Bailey offers Ella a chance to be accepted by other kids but she feels she would have to leave Z behind.  Z cannot come with her because he is just too weird and broken.  In the end, can she really save him?

Review:   This book mostly focuses on Ella but all three children in this book are coping with loss in their own way.  Ella’s father died of cancer because of that she becomes super-protective of those she loves.  Z’s father abandoned his family so he uses his stories to help him cope with missing his father.   Bailey’s father is in a military hospital because he has post traumatic stress disorder.  Bailey uses popularity to hide his pain from everyone but Ella.  They are children trying to handle emotions that are overwhelming to them.  These are kids that are trying to deal with issues that even adults have trouble with.  Some of their coping methods are better than others.  I would recommend this book to kids who like to read stories that deal with heavy real-life issues.  Be prepared to cry.

Additional Info:

Main Characters:

Ella-She is the narrator.  The story is told through her eyes.

Z-He is her best friend since third grade.  He spends a lot of time in his own world and it is starting to affect him.

Bailey-He is the new boy.  Ella and him are starting to become friends.

Themes:  Friendship, Loyalty, Love

Bibliographic Info:

Magoon, K. (2011). camo girl. new york: Aladdin. 217p.

Tagline:  Everyone has something to hide.

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