Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Campfire Crisis

Title: Campfire Crisis     
Author: Blake Hoena  
Publisher: Lake 7 Creative 
Publication Date: April 15, 2013
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Choose Your Adventure 
GoodReads Summary: What's better than reading an outdoors adventure? Reading one where you are the main character! But be careful: You might find yourself in a forest fire! Your decisions will help you learn camping safety tips while you rescue your friends.
What Jen Thinks: I have always thought there needed to be more choose-your-own-adventure books in the world. I remember reading the R.A. Montgomery books when I was younger and loving them. One thing that was very different about this chose-your-adventure type book compared to others that I have read, is that readers are given a choice at the end of every chapter. Your choice doesn't mean that you will jump around in the book, the reader still reads through the chapters but is given a choice at the end of each. The author helps readers recognize when he or she has made a decision that would not be wise and then the reader is made aware of this and is able to instead make the opposite choice. Because this format is so unique compared to what I have read before, it made me stop and think about what I'm used to and why the author made the decisions he did about how to format this particular book. This would be a wonderful conversation to have with students about decisions an author makes and why or why not he or she might make those decisions. It would be interesting to hear how students respond to different types of choices they are given.
     Similarly, choose-your-adventure books are unique because they are usually told form a 2nd person point of view. 2nd person seems to be altogether rare in writing and I think it is often overlooked when point of view is taught to students. I love that books like Campfire Crisis give students the opportunity to recognize what 2nd person point of view is and how it is different from 1st and 3rd person. (I totally remember wondering what 2nd person point of view meant because if you had 1st and 3rd, why wouldn't you have 2nd?) I strongly believe in giving kids all the information and helping them discern for themselves why you may or may not use a point of view and why it may or may not be more common than others. Overall, I think students will learn a lot about camping and survival by reading this book but can also examine an author's decisions and discuss how those decisions might apply in their own writing.
What Kellee Thinks: A different kind of choose your path book. In a choice chapter book, you are still the protagonist (2nd person alert!), but throughout the book you are given choices (one is right and one is wrong; rational is given) and you only continue when you choose the right one. This book definitely would be a great introduction to camping and takes the reader through some really realistic situations. Though a bit didactical, it definitely works in teaching safety- I even learned a few things.
     In the classroom, this book would be great in a 2nd or 3rd grade classroom to talk about cause and effect. You could look at what would happen if you chose the wrong choice. 
     I cannot wait to see what other books come out in this series. I think it is a great opportunity to teach readers about many different things in a fun way. 
Read Together: Grades 2 - 4 
Read Alone: Grades 2 - 5 
Read With: Can You Survive: Jack London's Call of the Wild: A Choose Your Path Book by Ryan Jacobson, Any Choose Your Own Adventure books
Snatch of Text:  
Choice 1 "The hand-crank radio: You tell Carla to pack her radio. Good choice! It doesn't have any games, but it will always have power. You just crank its lever. Then you can listen to music. You can also get weather reports if it looks stormy outside." 
Choice 2 "The smart phone: You tell Carla to pack her phone. It would be fun to play games. But the phone will run out of power. You won't be able to recharge it. And what if a storm comes? You might need to hear weather reports. You should tell Carla to pack the radio instead." 
Mentor Text For: Point of View, Perspective, Author's Purpose, Cause/Effect 
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you had to make a tough decision.; Were there any decisions withing Campfire Crisis that you disagreed with? If so, what would you have done differently? 
Topics Covered: Friends, Family, Independence, Decision Making, Risk Taking 
We *heart* It:
**Thank you to the author, Blake Hoena, for providing copies for us to review!**

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