Friday, November 23, 2018

Camp Valor

McEwen, Scott and Willians, Hof. Camp Valor
July 10th 2018 by St. Martin's
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Wyatt has a decent life, but when his dad takes off, it dissolves into chaos. His mother doesn't function well, his younger brother is clingy, and his aunt Narcissa moves in and is only really helps if you consider snacking on the couch helpful. Wyatt does some stupid things and compiles a small criminal record for himself, but it's enough to land him in big trouble when he is framed for his friend's shooting of a convenience store worker. He is sent to juvenile detention, but given an odd opportunity-- he can go to a summer camp program run by the government and given the opportunity to wipe his record clean by working in covert ops for them. Soon, Wyatt is at Camp Valor, doing boot camp style drills and learning the ins and outs of espionage. In a parallel story, we follow Wilberforce Degas, a more than avid gamer whose father is a crime lord. They are vacationing on their yacht with Wil's friend Chris when things go bad. Colonel Degas is killed, and Wil flees with his mother and Chris. Unfortunately, Chris and his entire family are killed after he leaves, and Wil sinks into a deep depression and becomes the very antisocial, psychopathic hacker, the Glowworm. The Glowworm later meets Raquel, a violet nine-year-old girl, and the two set out to find his father's killer, whom he believes is . Eventually, his search connects him to the Camp Valor program, and Wyatt's group's training ultimately triumphs, although tragedies occur and there are complications put in place for the next book.

Wyatt's descent into criminal behavior, his redemption at the camp, and the complicated twist involving his father make this a riveting read. Teens love the idea of saving the world, and putting them in a camp where they are taught the tools to use to do this is brilliant. The paramilitary aspect will also be popular with readers who like war stories as well as tales of spies.

This is definitely a young adult book, and the Glowworm and Raquel are deeply disturbing characters. There is a fair amount of human-on-human violence in this one, and while it isn't lengthy and graphic, there will be occasional scenes where the Glowworm decides to put a bit of his nemeses' flesh into a blender and through his feeding tube. Raquel's background and motivations aren't really explained, but she is brutal and senseless in her killing. This will appeal to some readers raised on crime shows and video games, but was less than appealing to me personally.

Readers who enjoyed David Gilman's The Devil's Breath, Muchamore's Cherub series or McNab's Traitor books will love the pulse-pounding action and adventure of this new paramilitary series featuring troubled but talented delinquents who have a shot at redemption.

I'm conflicted about this one. Parts of it exceed my dose of gruesome, human-on-human violence. However, I always say that I won't monetarily support authors who do this. This was a free copy. I've already read it for YABC. It's not completely inappropriate, it's just... too much. I think I may give the book to one of my 8th grade readers who told me his first day that he didn't read, but has continued to soak up every book I've given him, and ask him what he thinks.

41188276Kuhn, Damien. The Fortnite Guide to Staying Alive 
October 23rd 2018 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy provided by the publisher

Well, I did take this opportunity to educate myself on Fortnite, and found this Guardian article most helpful. I was especially glad to find out that this is the genesis of the ridiculous looking The Floss dance. While my girls were growing up, I had a very draconian, half hour of ALL media policy. This made Runescape with dial-up frustrating for them. The fact that this game involves shooting people would have made it verboten in my house, and the fact that it's colorful, cartoony violence actually makes it worse in my opinion.

So, while this book could well be very helpful to children playing the game, I'm going to give a firm, resounding NO to having it in the library. No to video games, no to violence. My daughters would have known better than to even question this.


What do World Cup soccer players, Drake, and 125 million other people have in common? They all play Fortnite! And now with The Fortnite Guide to Staying Alive, anyone can survive the island and take their game to the next level. This must-have guide has something for every kind of player: game mode overviews for Battle Bus beginners, detailed weapon and item stats for initiates, and advanced building strategies for veterans. With The Fortnite Guide to Staying Alive, competitive gamers will have everything they need to max out each new season and have fun doing it.

No comments:

Post a Comment