Shadows of Caesar's Creek (Clubhouse Mysteries Series #3) by Sharon M. Draper, Jesse Joshua Watson |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Shadows of Caesar's Creek (Clubhouse Mysteries Series #3)

Shadows of Caesar's Creek (Clubhouse Mysteries Series #3)

4.6 31
by Sharon M. Draper, Jesse Joshua Watson
     
 

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When Ziggy gets the word that the trip to Camp Caesar is on, he can't wait to tell his friends, the Black Dinosaurs. But the four pals couldn't know what excitement awaited them. In this third adventure, the boys learn a lot about American, Naive American, and African-American history.

Overview

When Ziggy gets the word that the trip to Camp Caesar is on, he can't wait to tell his friends, the Black Dinosaurs. But the four pals couldn't know what excitement awaited them. In this third adventure, the boys learn a lot about American, Naive American, and African-American history.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Ziggy and his friends are on an overnight camping trip at Caesar's Creek. The campers settle in for the night. But boys will be boys and, pretending to be Shawnees on a night journey, the four sneak out of their tent. A canoe on the edge of the water and boys in search of adventure add up to big problems when the four find themselves drifting across the lake and ending up far from the camp. Can they find their way back in the dark? And what is that noise in the bushes that is getting louder and closer? Kids will learn a little bit about the Ohio Valley's history and the relationship between Native Americans and black slaves. In the book, Caesar (a historical individual) is described as an escaped slave, but the Caesar's Creek State Park Web site states that Caesar was captured by the Shawnee during a raid and then adopted and given the valley as his hunting ground. At the end of the book, readers will find an extensive chapter-by-chapter list of discussion questions, as well as many additional enrichment activities. It is unfortunate that the author describes Rashawn as proud that his dad is a cop but even prouder that his dad has broken the rules to drive Rashawn to the campers' meeting point in a "blaze of glory" with the police car's siren blaring and lights flashing. This is the third book in the "Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs" series. 2006 (orig. 1997), Aladdin Paperbacks/Simon & Schuster, Ages 8 to 10.
—Anita Barnes Lowen
Children's Literature - Karen Porter
Ziggy and his three friends, The Black Dinosaurs, go for an overnight camp out with four girls and a counselor. The children's unique personalities are entertaining and insightful. Ziggy's Jamaican accent and cheerful attitude keep the book upbeat and amusing. The boys' decision to seek adventure adds a suspenseful plot near the end of the story. Sharon Drapers weaves African and Native American history into a delightful story. Through this book, children will gain an understanding of the experiences of the two most oppressed minorities in our history, as well as their place in our present-day culture. Unfortunately, the book is plagued with errors in the placement of quotation marks, which may be confusing to students. A short section at the end of the book provides the historical basis for the story. This initial book of the "Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs" series promises to be the first of many entertaining and educational books for young readers.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5Ziggy, Rico, Rashawn, and Jerome's weekend camping trip at Caesar's Creek State Park is far more exciting than they ever expected. Their counselor turns out to be an expert on the history of the park, which once belonged to the Shawnee Indian tribe. Mysterious tales about coming-of-age rituals and shadows that walk at midnight start the boys off on their own nighttime adventure, and soon they are lost in the surrounding woods. Rescued by an equally mysterious man named Hawk, who turns out to be a Shawnee chief, the boys' adventure ends safely, and they all learn valuable lessons as well. The connection between the Native American adults and African American kids is real and believable. The children occasionally come across a little too good and too nice, but Draper makes up for it by showing that it's plausible for 10-year-olds to respect other cultures and the land. The plot is predictable and slim at times, but this addition to the series should generate thoughtful questions about the past in general, as well as what information makes it into history books and what doesn't.Linda Bindner, Athens Clarke County Library, GA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442427112
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
09/06/2011
Series:
Clubhouse Mysteries Series, #3
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
262,480
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

ZIGGY’S THOUGHTS BOUNCED LIKE HOT POPCORN as he ran through his backyard to the clubhouse of the Black Dinosaurs. An overnight camping trip he thought eagerly.Fishing Hiking Cooking over a campfire He couldn’t wait to talk to Rico, Rashawn, and Jerome, the other members of the Black Dinosaurs, about the letter from Camp Caesar.

Ziggy’s huge backyard was wonderful. It was a place where flowers, weeds, rabbits, and ten-year-old boys could grow wild. It was a place to dream and create—a perfect location for secrets and adventures. Ziggy followed a path, probably used by raccoons, which ran back through the thick underbrush to the clubhouse.

Using the remains of an old fence that the boys had found in Ziggy’s backyard, they had built the clubhouse themselves the previous summer. They had cut holes that looked a lot like windows in the two side walls, and for the door, they’d used a smaller section of the fence wall. It closed with a bent piece of wire coat hanger.

Inside, the clubhouse was about ten feet by twelve feet—not really big, but large enough for four boys to sit and talk. In it was one lawn chair with most of the webbing missing, one folding chair left over from a church picnic, one three-legged kitchen chair (they used a large rock to balance it), and a bicycle with two flat tires. This was their seating arrangement, or they could push everything aside and sit on the blanket that Ziggy’s mom had given them.

Just as Ziggy got to the front of the clubhouse, he tripped over his shoelace, lost his balance, landed on his backside, and rolled with a laugh to the door, where Jerome was waiting for him. Ziggy never walked anywhere—he bounced or jogged or galloped wherever he went. He was always in a good mood, always excited about whatever was happening around him. So Jerome was not surprised when Ziggy landed at his feet, bubbling with excitement.

He helped Ziggy up and asked with a laugh, “What’s up, Ziggy?”

“Did your letter come, mon? Are you packed? Where are Rico and Rashawn?” Ziggy’s eyes were bright. Behind him, the boys could hear the rustling of something in the bushes.

Rashawn’s Siberian husky, Afrika, with one blue eye and one brown eye, trotted out of the bushes, found his favorite spot under a tree, and went to sleep. Rashawn, tall, brown, and skinny, and wearing his favorite army boots, stomped through the backyard and sat down on a large rock in front of the clubhouse.

“What’s goin’ on, fellas?” he asked. “Where’s Rico?”

Ziggy was still hopping around enthusiastically. He wore a green vest, a blue shirt, and bright red jeans. Today a large knitted cap covered his braids, which usually bounced as much as he did. Ziggy’s family had come from Jamaica to Ohio several years before and had moved onto the street in Cincinnati where Rico, Rashawn, and Jerome lived.

The four boys had been friends since first grade.

Rico was coming down the path to the clubhouse. He had a huge wad of bubble gum in his mouth and was attempting to blow the world’s biggest bubble. He walked slowly, concentrating on blowing and balancing the bubble, which was almost the size of his face. He didn’t see Ziggy, who leaped into the air, bursting to tell his good news.

“It’s almost time” cried Ziggy. As Ziggy began to speak, he waved his arms around wildly. At that moment Rico and his bubble walked right into Ziggy’s hand. Splat went the bubble gum, and Rico’s surprised face and thick brown hair were instantly covered with sticky pink bubble gum.

Rashawn and Jerome hooted with laughter; Ziggy rolled on the ground with delight. Rico didn’t laugh much. But it was clear he wasn’t angry as he sat on the grass, picking gum out of his hair.

“That bubble would have gone in the Guinness Book of World Records,” he said, faking disappointment. “I bet it was the biggest one in the world so far”

“Aw, mon, I blow bubbles bigger than that every day” boasted Ziggy. “But you gotta mix the bubble gum with mashed potatoes first That’s the secret ingredient”

“Yuck” exclaimed the others. They were used to Ziggy’s unusual tastes in food. He stirred his chocolate milk with pickles and put mustard on his cornflakes.

“So tell us, Ziggy,” Jerome said finally. “What’s up?”

“The mailman just left,” Ziggy told them, “and my letter from Camp Caesar came today We’ve been waiting forever, but the trip is finally here We’re going camping at Caesar’s Creek State Park next week”

“We got our letters today too,” Rico said. “It’s gonna be a cool trip.” He had almost finished pulling the bubble gum out of his hair.

Rashawn cheered. “Let’s hear it for my dad” Rashawn’s father was a member of the Black Heritage Club. They had decided several months ago to sponsor field trips for the young people of the community, and this camping trip was one of the first activities.

“I’ve never slept outside in the woods before,” admitted Jerome. “I wonder what we ought to take.”

Ziggy pulled a folded piece of paper from the back pocket of his red jeans. “Not to worry, mon” he announced. “Here’s the list of things to bring. Let’s see here … flashlight, sleeping bag, backpack, extra socks, bug spray …”

“Bug spray?” asked Jerome. He hated insects. He carried bug spray every day in his book bag, just in case. “You know how I am about bugs I’ll probably never get to sleep, looking for bugs in the night.”

Ziggy laughed and said again, “Not to worry, mon It will be so dark in those woods at night you’ll never even see the bugs that bite you”

Jerome picked up a handful of dry leaves and threw them at Ziggy. “Hey, you really know how to make a dude feel better, man”

“Who else is going?” asked Rico.

“I’m not sure,” Rashawn answered. “I think a few more kids from school. There might be some kids from other schools near the campsite, my dad said.”

“Any girls?” asked Rashawn.

“Who cares, mon” Ziggy replied. “I’m more concerned with the lions and tigers and bears”

“There are no lions and tigers in the woods here in Ohio,” Rico declared. “But I’m not sure about bears.”

“Bears?” asked Rashawn fearfully.

“There’s no bears around here,” Jerome stated, “but I know the woods are full of bugs”

“Don’t forget, we’ll have bug spray,” reminded Rico.

“Bug spray won’t do much against a bear” muttered Rashawn, who didn’t want to admit he was a little worried.

Ziggy checked the list again. “Not to worry, mon,” he announced again with cheerful assurance, “nothing on here about bears”

“That doesn’t mean there aren’t any,” Rashawn continued, smiling in spite of himself.

“What about Indians?” asked Rico.

“I don’t know,” Jerome said with a frown. “There used to be millions of Indians in Ohio—a long time ago.”

“What do you suppose happened to all of them?” Rico wondered.

“Hey, mon, I bet there are thousands of Indians living in the woods up there right now”

“No, Ziggy,” Rico said thoughtfully, “I think they got pushed out—from their own land. My dad told me that it used to be really beautiful around here before there were roads or bridges or even houses.”

“Can you imagine,” Rashawn thought out loud, “nothing but forests for miles and miles? The Indians had it so good”

“Yeah, except for one thing.” Jerome grinned.

“What, mon?”

“There was no place to stop for hamburgers and French fries”

“Or pizza”

“Or tacos”

“Or chocolate-covered spaghetti, mon”

At that, they all grabbed dry leaves and grass from the yard to throw at Ziggy, until he ran laughing and shouting through the backyard.

“Not to worry, mon” they heard him yell in the distance, still laughing. “I’ll bring my own”

© 2006 Sharon M. Draper

Meet the Author

Sharon M. Draper is a New York Times bestselling author and recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire. Her Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and has been a New York Times bestseller for well over two years. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.

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