Bulldog Library

Fat Camp Commandos

on May 20, 2013

JF Pinkwater    •    AR Reading Level: 4.8    •    AR Points: 1.0    •    Quiz #49781

Jacket.aspxRalph Nebula lives in Pokooksie, New York.  Pokooksie does not like fat people.  Once a year they have an Anti-Fat Day where the thin people ridicule and insult fat people for there own good.  This year they had a famous health guru come and lecture on the dangers of being fat.  This famous health guru suggests that parents send their fat children to fat camp.  Consequently, Ralph’s parents (who are fat themselves) decide to send Ralph and his sister Sylvia to Camp Noo Yoo.  Camp Noo Yoo is an awful place.  They treat the kids horribly and feed them little more than carrots and raisins.  Thankfully, while at Camp Noo Yoo, Ralph and Sylvia meet Mavis.  Mavis has a plan to sneak out of camp, and she wants to break Ralph and Sylvia out of Camp Noo Yoo too!  Will this trio be able to escape fat camp?  What will they do all summer if they make it back to Pokooksie?

Despite facing overwhelming criticism, the children in Fat Camp Commandos are happy with who they are.  Rather than allowing the constant ridicule to create a damaged self-image, they fight back and find others who will accept them as they are.  This book provides a wonderful lesson for readers: not to allow mean people to determine who you are.  (It also introduces readers to the delightful songs of Gilbert and Sullivan!)  It is humorously written with very short chapters and large font with cartoon illustrations sprinkled throughout.  It is entertaining and enjoyable to read.

Genre: Humor  •  Interest Level: grades 4-8

Pinkwater, D. (2001).  Fat Camp Commandos.  (Andy Rash, illustrated).  New York, NY: Scholastic Press.

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