Title: Michaela Mason’s Big List of Camp Worries
Author: Alexa Moses
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: 1st August 2021
Synopsis: I’m not good at CAMP. In fact, CAMP involves a gazillion horrible things I’m bad at or scared of. But trying to explain why I’m scared of CAMP is impossible. People don’t understand what it’s like to have a fizzy, jumpy, ‘what if’ brain like mine. I’m going to need a whole new list of CAMP worries.
First school trip. First tree climb. 21 CAMP worries. Can Michaela Mason handle it?
- The second book in Alexa Moses’ heart-warming new middle grade series, Michaela Mason’s Worries.
- Michaela is off to camp, where she will have to face her fear of heights, sleeping away from Mum, being outside in the dark and jolly outdoor activities.
- Michaela Mason is a strong female role model for living with and admitting to worry.
- Relatable scenarios, with gentle mental health themes woven through in a humorous way.
- Perfect for readers who are prone to worrying.
- Themes include identity, worry, friendship and school camp.
Michaela Mason is off to camp with her new school – and that includes the bully of the school, Brigid, who skirts around the rules easily and is never caught. Michaela must also contend with the Pretty Posse, as when she arrives at camp, she finds out she must share a cabin with them. As she grapples with the reality of sharing all her activities with them, she hopes that Skye will become a friend, and she longs to do all she can to spend time with her friend, Soo-Min, whilst also avoiding Brigid. But Michaela’s worries will plague her throughout as she learns to work with others and make new friends with people she least expected along the way.
Camp is one of the biggest worries kids will face at school – at least in non-COVID times, and it was refreshing to read a story that didn’t involve COVID at all. Camp is one of the first times most kids will be away from home overnight and be thrust into doing things they’ve never done before, like climbing trees or zip lining, or kayaking.
Michaela’s story makes worrying and anxiety okay – and tells us that sometimes people put on a brave face to make themselves seem braver than they really are, and they use this to their advantage, but there will always be something that can bring them down – or bring their anxieties to light and shows us that everyone has fears, and that sometimes there are secrets that should be kept, and other times where it is better to be honest – even if you’re acting out of fear and not wanting to look weak in front of your friends.
This is a powerful and gentle book that is reassuring and allows kids to express what they are feeling anxious about – and shows them that they can face their fears, and that is okay to simply try, that if you can’t do it, it’s still okay – you’ve tried. It shows us that we all have things that we are afraid of and anxious about – and that’s what makes us human. As the kid who struggled with camp where there were too many things I couldn’t do, this book was a reassuring read, and I hope kids these days who are in a similar position feel reassured by this book, and feel that they can talk about what worries them about camp and why. Another great Michaela Mason book!