Young Reader Review: Camping Chaos by LM Nicodemo
Author: LM Nicodemo
Illustrator: Graham Ross
Maximus Todd can’t understand why his mother has woken him up at 5:00 am, until he remembers what day it is. Today is the day that he and his family will embark on their annual camping trip to Camp Friendly Pines!
This year’s trip promises to be better than ever since Max’s best friend Shiv will be coming too. If only Mary Beth Bokely wasn’t coming with her parents.
Max is determined not to let Mary Beth get him down. But when he gets stung by a bee and caught in a sudden rainstorm, he finds himself facing an attack of his infamous super fidgets.
Max knows that the best way to calm the super fidgets is to come up with a game to occupy his mind. This time he sets himself an adding challenge. Will this game help Max overcome his super fidgets? Or will it end up costing him his nightly helping of s‘mores?
This new entry in The Secret Games of Maximus Todd series evokes all the joys (and challenges) of family holidays and summer camping trips. With short sentences, plenty of white space on each page and lively black and white illustrations, it is a perfect book for emergent readers who will be equally drawn in by the briskly paced plot and engaging, relatable characters.
The series is also noteworthy for its dyslexia-friendly features (including font and paper stock) and its thoughtful depiction of Max and his ADHD, which he calls his super fidgets. Max’s ability to recognize when he is having an episode and his strategy for coping provides a positive role model, and the fact that his friends are ready and willing to support him is heartwarming. But ultimately it is the camping adventure itself, with all its ups and downs, that make this book a definite hit for its intended audience.
Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.