Enjoy Your Own Book Camp at Home with Camp Candlewick

This post contains affiliate links. We received books from Candlewick Press so we could participate in Camp Candlewick and share our experience.

We're all big readers around here, and with the stay-at-home orders, we've all exceeded our yearly book goals before the halfway point of the year was even up.

For summer, we decided to expand our yearly challenge and participate in our library summer reading program, but then I received a really cool offer form Candlewick Press.  Would we like to participate in Camp Candlewick and share some new reads?  Obviously, the answer was yes!!!

Camp Candlewick is an online program where readers can engage in a virtual book camp that encourages them to take part in shared reads, activities, and streaming events with prominent creators. Designed for students in grades 1-12, the camp takes place over twelve weeks and features four different "cabins" based on age groups.  Each cabin features three reads, one each for June, July, and August, and includes plenty of content from the authors of the books.

Since my son was the one to participate and he was right in between the ages for cabins 3 and 4, I let him choose his cabin and he really liked the book choices for Cabin 3:
  • Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri - From a Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor winner comes a street- smart tale about a displaced teen who learns to defend what’s right — the Cowboy Way. Inspired by the little- known urban riders of Philly and Brooklyn, this compelling tale of latter- day cowboy justice champions a world where your friends always have your back, especially when the chips are down.
  • Slider by Pete Hautman - David can eat an entire sixteen-inch pepperoni pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad. But he knows he can do better. In fact, he’ll have to do better: he’s going to compete in the Super Pigorino Bowl, the world’s greatest pizza-eating contest, and he has to win it, because he borrowed his mom’s credit card and accidentally spent $2,000 on it. So he really needs that prize money. Like, yesterday. As if training to be a competitive eater weren’t enough, he’s also got to keep an eye on his little brother, Mal (who, if the family believed in labels, would be labeled autistic, but they don’t, so they just label him Mal). And don’t even get started on the new weirdness going on between his two best friends, Cyn and HeyMan. Master talent Pete Hautman has cooked up a rich narrative shot through with equal parts humor and tenderness, and the result is a middle-grade novel too delicious to put down.
  • Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson - Ever since Jack can remember, his mom has been unpredictable, sometimes loving and fun, other times caught in a whirlwind of energy and “spinning” wildly until it’s over. But now she is gone, leaving him all alone on a campsite in Maine. Can he find his way back to Boston before the authorities realize what happened? With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties — and his trust that he may be part of a larger herd after all.

Like Cabin 3, Cabins 1, 2, and 4 each have their own three choices to read too.  Camp Candlewick recommends that their camps read their books ahead of the scheduled date, then “meet” each author as the summer progresses via video messages where they can learn about each writer’s favorite summer reading books, camp memories, and why it’s so important to stay connected to books all year long.

All of the information for Camp Candlewick, including all four cabins, is posted on the main Camp Candlewick website.

Videos are posted to the Camp Candlewick Playlist on YouTube, and there are more goodies on the Candlewick Facebook and Candlewick Pinterest.  

As book lovers, we are really enjoying getting to "meet" the authors and checking out some new reads.  We decided to both read the three Cabin 3 books so we could have our own book talks at home.  We may be sneaking into a few other cabins to check out their reads too!