Saturday, October 8, 2011
Kekla Magoon’s The Rock and the River was on my 8th grade reading list last year, so I was so excited to read her newest novel, Camo Girl. Ella, a biracial girl in the sixth grade with all white classmates, narrates the story about her friendship with eccentric Zachariah (Z) and the difficulties they face together. Ella wakes up every day trying not to look at her mottled colored face in the mirror which has given her the nickname, camo girl, by the school bully. Things were not so hard when Ella, Z, and Millie were all best friends when they were younger. Things have changed drastically for both Ella and Z…they both have lost their fathers due to different circumstances. Now Millie hangs out with the popular crowd at school while Ella and Z are tormented by school bullies. Z has created a fantasy world in which he can escape in order to cope with all the sadness in his life. Ella, the only person who can relate to Z, feels like he needs her to protect him from the others. When Bailey, a handsome African-American boy, moves to their school and takes an interest in Ella, Ella finds that she wants more than her single friendship with Z. One day Z doesn’t come home from school. Will Ella find him before it is too late? Read this moving book about friendship and the hardships of growing up when you are considered different from those around you. This novel will be on my 6th grade reading list next year.