Secrets from the Sleeping Bag: A Blogtastic! Novel


Sofia is spending the summer at Camp Krakatow! S'mores, crafts, bug juice, water sports, boys(!) . . . Sofia doesn't want to forget one second of sleepaway camp!

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Sofia is spending the summer at Camp Krakatow! S'mores, crafts, bug juice, water sports, boys(!) . . . Sofia doesn't want to forget one second of sleepaway camp!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
School Library Journal, August 2012:
"Cooper’s writing captures the craziness and fun of summer camp. Humorous, captioned illustrations are sprinkled throughout."

Booklist, September 2012:
"The format makes for a quick, appealing read...libraries where the first two books in the series circulate will want to add the third."

VOYA - Caitlin Augusta
Soon-to-be seventh grader Sofia Becker is off to Camp Krakatow with her best friend Nona Bows. Sofia, best known to readers as the Blogtastic blogger, will be cut off from her computer during summer camp, but she jots journal entries in her "pre-blogging notebook." Sofia worries about being in a different cabin from Nona, but she makes friends with everyone in her cabin—with the exception of the standoffish Olivia. While at Krakatow, Sofia participates in the grand camp tradition of cabin pranks and settles into camp life after some entertaining wilderness experiences. Sofia's notebook is written in a girlish handwriting font with doodles interspersed throughout the text. Her entries function more as musings on tween-girl camp life than a story. It is a light-hearted portrayal without much substance or plot. The journal entries follow the highlights of Sofia's camp stay without being a tight-knit story, much like a teenage girl's diary. Characterization is shallow. Sofia never confronts Nona about a particularly personal practical joke, and readers do not learn much about the other campers except that they are talkative or quiet, athletic or artistic. Sofia speaks with a youthful vivacity, however, that will please teenage girls. Her concerns about friendship, bugs, and boys are universal and will raise sympathetic smiles. For readers who want a quick read that may mirror their own vacations, this latest Blogtastic book will go down easy. Reviewer: Caitlin Augusta
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Sofia Becker's parents are forcing (well, asking) her to go to Camp Krakatow for four dreaded weeks. Lacking technology to continue her Blogtastic blog, she makes sure to write down every juicy detail in her super-secret Pre-Blogging Notebook. As she says, if her parents knew they were sending her to a camp where there were "Bigfoots, rabid stray cats, flaming marshmallows, and food fights, they would've thought twice." She ends up in the cabin with the worst name (The Gray Hairstreaks) and the worst counselor-uptight Priscilla Jayne (nicknamed "Priss"). To make matters worse, Sofia convinced her best friend, Nona, to come along with her ("cutest boys ever" will be there!) only to discover that they are in different cabins. Despite her fears of creepy crawlies, bad food, and lack of friends, she soon makes the best of it and has one wacky adventure after another. Her delightful and irrepressible personality leads to a few embarrassments, too. She claims she's great at canoeing but ends up going the wrong way during a race. Everyone laughs when she unwittingly brings a humiliating Elmo towel to the beach. But Sofia redeems herself by creating some of the best pranks ever during the Prank War with the other cabins: putting baby powder in their blow dryers, eggs in their shoes, and jello in their sleeping bags. Cooper's writing captures the craziness and fun of summer camp. Humorous, captioned illustrations are sprinkled throughout.—Diane McCabe, Loyola Village Elementary School, Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385742467
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 455,167
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.14 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Rose Cooper

ROSE COOPER is a children's writer and illustrator and a self-taught artist. Her art work can be seen in local galleries, art fairs, and festivals. Writing for children gives her the perfect excuse to keep in touch with her inner child and never really grow up. She lives in Sacramento, California, with her husband, Carl, and their three boys. You can visit Rose's website at

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Read an Excerpt

This is not just any notebook. This is my super-secret Pre-Blogging Notebook! This is where I'll write all the super-juicy gossip rumors stuff I hear this summer so I can post about it later on my anonymous Blogtastic blog! After all, I wouldn't want to forget any important details, or accidentally post wrong information.

Who knows how many problems that might cause?

And right now it's one of THE most uber-important times of the year—summer vacation! And even though I have no idea what I'll be doing this summer, I DO know that I'll be posting my best blog posts yet. My BFF, Nona Bows, says I'm too nosy sometimes, but really, I'm only conducting necessary research.

Also, we're going to be awesome seventh graders this year, so it's doubly important to make sure my blog hits popular status. That way, I can blog about me and Nona and other unpopulars so we can move up (way, way up!) on the popularity meter.

Now, if you're reading this and your name isn't Nona Bows (still, Nona, you said you wouldn't PURPOSELY read this either), then you are definitely snooping. Nobody likes a snooper. And I will have the fingerprints on this page traced (no lie, I bought a kit) so I will know exactly who you are.

Anything you buy online is guaranteed to work!

So you should just totally avoid this avoidable problem and stop reading immediately. That's right, just put this cleverly disguised ordinary-looking notebook down and forget you ever read this page. Forget that I'm going to find all the juiciest info this summer to blog about. Oh, and forget you know that I, Sofia Becker, am THE Blogtastic Blogger.

Reasons I would NEVER go to a summer sleepaway camp:

1. I barely survived the power outage during last winter's storm. The outage lasted TWO hours. Can you imagine? I need technology available to me at all times.

2. Apparently most camps don't have computers. Which means no blogging. Need I say more?

3. I'm a super-fast eater when it comes to junk food. I would probably choke to death from scarfing down chips, devouring marshmallows, or inhaling hot dogs around the campfire.

4. The closest I've ever come to "roughing it" was watching that TV show Survivor.

And that one time I accidently locked myself outside. At night. For an entire hour!

5. Creepy crawlies! Bugs and I do NOT mix well.

6. Being away from friends, family, and Sam Sam—the best parrot in the world—would be super-hard.

But despite these very valid reasons, here I am, sitting in the backseat of my dad's car with Nona for a three-hour-long ride to Krakatow, a four-week sleepaway camp. FOUR weeks! Yes, I was totally suckered into it.

It kind of happened this way:

My parents asked forced me to go. With my dad working so much and Mom taking care of Halli, my new baby sister, they didn't want me sitting around the house all summer bored out of my mind. They already think I spend too much time on the computer.

But the biggest deal was having Nona go too. She's totally not the camping type. I had to ask her about a million times to join me.

Me: Pleeeease go with me?

Nona: Um . . .

Me: Please?

Nona: Well, uh . . .

Me: C'mon! We'll have so much fun together!

Nona: Will there be boys?

Me: The cutest boys. Ever.

Nona: Count me in!

Going to camp with Nona totally reeks of awesomeness.

Speaking of reeking . . . Nona thinks it's cute to air her feet in the car. With the windows rolled up. There should be a law against stink being confined in enclosed spaces.

Okay, so Mom can be totally embarrassing (especially considering that she's a teacher at my school), but sometimes it can't even compare to the UBER-embarrassment that oozes from my dad. Nona and I were locked in a car with him with the radio blasting, which was bad enough. The embarrassment began in the form of a music-induced seizure.

It started with the drumming of his fingers on the steering wheel, which led to arm waving and neck swaying and ended with a serious head-nodding convulsion.

And then came . . . THE HUMMING!

He was so out of tune and totally clashed with the music so badly that it sounded as if the car was having engine problems.

Then came the worst part (yes, it gets worse) . . . the singing!

I wish Dad were on the radio. Then I could turn him OFF!

If anyone other than Nona had been in the car with us, I would have contemplated jumping out of the moving vehicle.

You know, if I could fly or something . . .

But Nona, who is used to my family craziness, and even expects it, just raised an eyebrow and said, "Lovely."

Which is code for "horrifically embarrassing beyond actual words."

1. "Interesting." Really means "Wow, that is so dull I almost died of boredom."

2. "Genius." Really means "Horribly dumb beyond words (except when I say it)."

3. "I know what you mean." Really means "I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about."

4. "What's that smell?" Really means "Why do you stink like that?"

5. "I'm tired." Really means "You're boring."

6. "Are you serious?" Really means "You can't possibly be serious."

I suppose there are worse things, though. I mean, Halli could be here wailing for the whole three hours (she cries A LOT). Luckily, she is in her cage crib at home with Mom.

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