LIZZIE B. HAYES AND THE GREAT CAMP CAPER

Lizzie B. Hayes is an adventurous yet accident prone eleven-year old girl who loves to be the center of attention. She lives with her maternal grandparents and cousins Shu Shu and Mookie.   Lizzie is the only child of divorced parents and yearns for them to get back together. 

In part two of the series, Lizzie is off on another two-week adventure during the summer of 1969.  Her bad luck streak has ended, or so she thinks.  Thanks to her mother’s salesmanship, Lizzie is a winner in the Girl Scout Cookie contest and wins a free camping trip. But before the buses leave the parking lot for Camp Linelock, Lizzie encounters one of the grouchiest girls she has ever met.  Coco, who turns out to be the camp bully, has her mind set on making the other campers miserable.  When the troop leader tells Lizzie and Coco to “buddy up” for the overnight camping hike, Lizzie is very upset.  To make matters worse, Lizzie and Coco become separated from the rest of the campers.  Will Lizzie and Coco survive in the wilderness?  What is the real reason Coco bullies everyone - especially Lizzie?

Lizzie B. Hayes and the Great Camp Caper addresses such difficult topics as bullying, aggression and, inappropriate teasing.  Similar to Jacqueline Woodson’s Each Kindness and Trudy Ludwig’s Just Kidding, young readers learn valuable lessons about these behaviors and how to manage their own interactions.

July 14th - Excerpt #1

Mr. Mike drove our bus into the Camp Linolock parking lot at 3:45 p.m. sharp.   I knew exactly what time it was because I snuck my black Timex birthday watch in my bag.  Fifteen minutes ago, I woke up before anyone else on the bus and smiled at the green grass and trees.  Every direction I looked was full of green grass and trees for as far as I could see.  My seat partner had slumped over onto my shoulder and I gently elbowed her.

 

“Wake up, Diane. We’re here!” I said.

 

“Stop! Leave me alone!” Diane said.

 

“Girl, we’re here, wake up!” I answered.

 

Oohs and aahs whispered throughout the bus. Arms stretched up over the seats as campers all over the bus woke up. Diane finally shifted in her seat and peeked out the window. Everyone seemed happy to be there on the beautiful camp grounds.  Everyone seemed ready to jump off the bus and let the camping begin.  Everyone except the sour lemon sucking faced girl I saw when I first got on the bus.  She sat in the next row across the aisle from me.   

 

Every time I looked at her, she rolled her eyes at me. I didn’t know her name yet but I planned to stay as far away from her as I possibly could.

 

WOOSH, Mr. Mike slowed down and pumped the brakes. He parked next to a small brown and white cabin with green and white sign marked OFFICE/INFIRMARY. A little further down on the left side of the road were twenty small brown and white log cabins.   Each cabin had a walk way that led to the top of a hill.  The walkways joined all joined and led to the top of a steep hill to a huge, rectangular shaped brown and white cabin.  Another green and white sign marked MESS HALL was posted outside.   Once the bus came to a complete stop, Mr. Mike pulled the lever, open the door, and climbed down the stairs of the bus.  A cool breeze rushed into the bus and through the aisles.  Smells of evergreen and dirt made me think about last December’s trip with Grandaddy to the Christmas tree lot. Only this smell was much stronger, I could almost taste it. The thermometer that hung over the visor near Mr. Mike’s rear view mirror read 95 degrees when we left Newark 3 hours ago.  It’s so different here in the woods. 

After stepping on the dirt path, Mr. Mike stretched and walked to the side of the bus to open the gigantic trunk underneath.   A lady who looked like the boss of the camp jumped up the three big steps to get on the bus.  She wore emerald green shorts and a bright white blouse.  A big white bullhorn like the one Mr. Jenkins used in gym class, hung around her neck. 

 

The boss lady brought the bullhorn to her mount, “Alright everybody, wake up, look lively! My name is Maggie, your troop leader for the next two weeks. Welcome to Camp Linelock!  When I call your name and number get off the bus, grab your bags from the trunk and, line up by the tree with your number.” Maggie shouted.

 

Why is she shouting at us?  We didn’t do anything wrong? What’s her problem?  This Maggie is no joke.  I am not quite sure how to take Maggie, but I think I better follow her instructions.   

 

When I heard my name, I gathered my things, lifted the little back pack onto my back, and rushed to the front of the bus.

“Coco Jefferson”, Maggie shouted.  Oh brother. It was the sour lemon sucking faced girl. She must be in my group!  Just my luck!

 

“Group B, get your things and line up next to the tree.  Hurry up, you have to unpack, wash up, and be ready for dinner at 5:00 o’clock sharp!” Maggie shouted again at me, Coco and the other two other girls in my group.  We all rushed off the bus to get our things. We all rushed to get to the tree.  That is, all of us except Coco Jefferson.  She was taking her sweet time.

 

I ran to the tree.  Yesssss, I’m first in line! From the sound of Maggie’s voice, I knew she didn’t take no stuff and I didn’t want to get on her bad side.

 

“Where do you think you’re going?  I’m leading the group up to the cabin.”  Coco caught up with the rest of us. She was taller and chubbier than me.  Taller and chubbier than almost anybody I had seen on our bus. 

 

“Uh – um I was here first.” I said.

 

I know she’s not trying to push me out of the way! She may be tall, she may be chubby, but she doesn’t know me!

            “

So what, I’m here now, you better get behind me!” Coco sneered.

           

Trouble is not something I want today.  Not on the first day!  Maybe I could “trip” over the stones on the path and “fall” in the dirt.  Maggie will rush over, help me up, and put me back at the front of the line.  Nah, I might really bust my lip or scrape my knees. Bad idea.

           

“Didn’t you hear me?” Coco repeated, this time she her eyes looked like tiny slits and I could barely hear her.  Oh no, she’s not trying to scare me!

Who does she think she is?  My head felt like it was going to pop off and I was fired up.  I slid over a little bit to let Coco get in front of me and a sick feeling came over me.  A feeling like these two weeks are going to drag by.

           

As she brushed past me, Coco rolled her eyes at me so hard they looked like they were going to slide behind her sockets. Straining as hard as I could, I rolled my eyes right back.

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