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The Cookcamp
     

The Cookcamp

5.0 1
by Gary Paulsen
 

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Told through the eyes of a 5-year-old boy, this is a story of adventure and discovery in a cookcamp located in the Canadian woods during World War II. When?: World War II Where?: A cookcamp in the Canadian woods Why?: He's not really sure. One summer, a 5-year-old boy goes to live with his grandmother in a cookcamp. The camp is home to 9 men who are building a road

Overview

Told through the eyes of a 5-year-old boy, this is a story of adventure and discovery in a cookcamp located in the Canadian woods during World War II. When?: World War II Where?: A cookcamp in the Canadian woods Why?: He's not really sure. One summer, a 5-year-old boy goes to live with his grandmother in a cookcamp. The camp is home to 9 men who are building a road through the woods. The boy misses his mother, but at the same time the camp becomes home--a special home where he learns to spit and rides the tractor. It's a wonderful summer, but then he lets slip to his grandmother about "Uncle Casey" and she writes seven letters to his mother. Seven letters that she mails "good and hard." A short while later, the boy returns home.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This short, lyrical novel concerns a five-year-old boy who is sent to the north woods of Minnesota to live with his grandmother, a cook for a rough-and-tumble road-building crew, because his father is off fighting in World War II and his mother has taken a job in a factory. Paulsen's simply told story strikes extraordinary emotional chords, from the boy's wide-eyed wonder at the giant men and their giant machines, to his searing rage at his mother's new boyfriend (the real reason he's been packed off to the woods), to his profound love for his grandmother, to his aching loneliness for his mother. Paulsen expertly balances sensitive probing of the boy's mental and emotional life with superb descriptions of the boy helping the men build the road, making Paulsen's unnamed hero one of the most fully realized characters in recent memory. Those hungry for adventure stories, as well as more introspective readers, will be spellbound by this stirring novel, which is every bit the equal of The Winter Room and Paulsen's other works. Ages 10-12. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly
"This short, lyrical novel concerns a five-year-old boy who is sent to the north woods of Minnesota to live with his grandmother, a cook for a rough-and-tumble road-building crew," wrote PW. "Paulsen makes this hero one of the most fully realized characters in recent memory." Ages 6-9. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-- In its simplicity of story line but depth of imagery and emotion, Paulsen's latest work is very much like MacLachlan's Sarah , Plain and Tall (Harper, 1985). During World War II, the father is in the army and the mother has to work, so a five-year-old boy is sent to stay with his grandmother who works as a cook for a road-building crew in northern Minnesota. At first his day consists of long stretches of quiet as he tries to amuse himself, only to have the peace invaded by the crew of large, loud, good-natured men who inhale great amounts of food, ruffle the boy's hair, and then get back to work. The boy ultimately gets over his shyness when they take him out to work with them and let him ride in the big trucks. But still, he misses his mother, and soon he is sent back to her. Paulsen does an excellent job of portraying the lightning-quick changes of a young child's emotions, from the upheaval of being sent away to the wonder of coaxing a chipmunk to accept food from his finger, from the exhilaration of being in the large trucks to the quiet security of being sung a Norwegian lullaby. In the boy's eyes, the men are so much larger than life that they seem almost mythic, as if he had been suddenly transported to Paul Bunyan's camp. But he's not so dazzled by their size that he misses the small things: he is equally enthralled by the tiny detailed painting on his grandmother's thimble or the colors in her apple pie. While the boy is very young, his experiences are universal, making this a superb book for readers just old enough to look back and remember their childhoods and grandparents with a feeling of nostalgia. --Susan M. Harding, Mesquite Public Library, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545748254
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/24/2014
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,100,172
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

They came in like all the outside and ruffled his hair and laughed and talked and ate until everything, everything was gone--all the biscuits and pancakes and coffee--until each and every can of condensed milk had been poured into each and every cup of coffee and was now empty and each sugar bowl was empty and everything was gone. Gone.

Then they rose, almost as one man, rose and put their small-looking, greasy caps on their heads and pinched snoose into their lower lips and said "Thank you, thank you" to the boy's grandmother. "Thank you for the good food."

And outside they stomped, and soon the boy could hear the roar of the engines again. But when he rushed to the small window next to the door he could see nothing but thick forest that came in close to the trailers.

Meet the Author

Gary Paulsen has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults. He is considered one of the most important writers for young adults today. Three of his novels — HATCHET, DOGSONG, and THE WINTER ROOM — were Newbery Honor books, and his works frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association.
Mr. Paulsen and his wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen, an artist who has illustrated several of his books, divide their time between their home in New Mexico, a boat in the Pacific, and adventures in the wilderness.

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Cookcamp 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A boy's mom is comiting adultry! His father is at war! He has to live with his grandmother who is housing 9 men who are building road! What this boy has to go through!! A definate must read. I loved it!