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Sports Camp by Rich Wallace
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Sports Camp

by Rich Wallace

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From April 2010 SLJ
When 11-year-old Riley Liston arrives at Camp Olympia, he quickly realizes that it’s going to be a long two weeks: as one of the youngest and smallest campers, he doesn’t have the strength that the older guys do in basketball and softball. Normally, he wouldn’t mind—he knows he’s a good swimmer and runner—but the cabins are all competing for the coveted Big Joe Trophy (named after the legendary snapping turtle that inhabits the lake), and Riley doesn’t want to be the person who takes the Cabin 3 Threshers out of the running. His concerns seem well-founded: during basketball and softball games the first several days, loud Barry berates Riley for his playing, and none of the guys goes out of his way to make Riley feel like part of the gang. But he perseveres, and friendships slowly develop as a few cabin-mates begin swimming laps each day in preparation for the Lake Surprise Showdown, the marathon swimming race that occurs the last night of camp. Despite bumps along the way—Cabin Four’s practical jokes on the Threshers; Riley’s nauseous run-in with some none-too-fresh fried chicken; spooky happenings that make the campers wonder if Big Joe is more than just a legend—the boys in Cabin 3 hold their own, and by the final night of camp, the question of which cabin will claim the Big Joe Trophy is anybody’s call. Wallace has a talent for capturing adolescent boys’ behavior in his stories, and while the plot is formulaic and some of the story requires suspending belief (a remarkable lack of adult presence as campers build fires late at night and fashion homemade cigarettes), the story has appeal. Each chapter ends with a Camp Olympia Bulletin, the daily newsletter that keeps campers apprised of upcoming activities and team standings. Purchase where sports stories by Matt Christopher and Dan Gutman are popular. ( )
  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
Sports play an important role in a child's life. If you like a particular sport you have to practice to see positive results. When involved in sports you can't give up. Sports teach you how to play as a team. ( )
  mburgess | Nov 1, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375840591, Hardcover)

Riley feels like the smallest kid at sports camp. In fact, he is. He just turned eleven in April, but most kids here are twelve, and a few are even thirteen—and gigantic. It’s hard enough for a shrimp like Riley to fit in. He just doesn’t want to be the weak link as his bunk competes for the Camp Olympia Trophy.

Riley knows he’s no good at strength and accuracy games like basketball and softball. But when it comes to speed and endurance events, like running and swimming, he’s better than he looks. He’s pretty sure he can place in the top ten—and bring in major trophy points—in the final mile-long swim race across Lake Surprise. But he doesn’t count on being followed by the shadow of Big Joe, the giant vicious snapping turtle of camp lore. Wasn’t that supposed to be a legend?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:10 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Eleven-year-old Riley Liston tries to fit in at Camp Olympia, a summer sports camp where he is one of the youngest boys.

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