Sunday, March 2, 2014


Title: Camp Cammoodle

Middle Grade/Contemporary


Larry's sure that going to summer-sleep away camp is his last chance to be popular or at least ditch the label Larry the Loser.  Then his mom chooses Camp Cammoodle--where kids learn to doodle.  Not even by mountains or a lake, Cammoodle is a rundown building in the middle of the city.  Could things get any worse?

But Cammoodle has lots of surprises like trampolines for beds, a mountain in a stairwell, and horses that never need hay.  Larry's three cabin mates, Lizard, Ladder, and TG become his first real friends and allies in adventure.  Everything is awesome except THE CHUTE, a dark and dangerous sled meant for much older, bigger guys.  TG's determined to tackle it anyway, and in a terrible moment, Larry realizes he's the only one who can save his friend from a deadly descent.  But can Larry find that kind of courage?

First Page:

I don’t want to be the biggest dork in the 4th grade.  But I am.  I don’t want Jackson to take my lunch every day.  But he does. And everyone laughs because whatever Jackson does is awesome. Jackson’s going to summer sleep away camp so everyone wants to go.  Even Charlie, who didn’t even used to be that cool, says he’s heading clear to Minnesota for sailing camp.  That kinda impresses Jackson, and I see a way that maybe I don’t have to be a dork forever.  I’ll go to sleep away camp too. If I take lots of flashlights, I’ll  probably be okay without my three nightlights.    
I hurry home and tell Mom about Jackson’s horseback riding camp.  She says a boy could get bucked off his horse and die. I tell her about Stephen’s baseball camp; Mom says a boy could get hit by a baseball and die.  I tell her about Charlie’s sailing camp.  Mom says a boy could fall out of the boat and die. I don’t tell her how those guys are popular, and I’m not. Instead, I just keep begging.  Mom says she’ll think about it.  Not a good sign. She’s been thinking about getting me a dog for two years.  I still don’t have one. 

Finally, a miracle happens.  Mom says she’s found a camp that’s safe.  I grab the camp brochure.  I don’t even read it.  I just run to school to show everyone.  I am not a dork!


  1. Format Issue: No double spaces between sentences anymore. Single space. Paragraphing incorrect in First Page. Question about Pitch: Will the whole arc build to the moment TG must be saved? First Page: I would have been more engaged if there had been a scene between Larry and his mom. This a great opportunity to reveal both characters.


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