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Comment: Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear, and the pages have only minimal creases. Free State Books. Never settle for less.
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The Cookcamp Library Binding – March, 1991

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Alida Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This short, lyrical novel concerns a five-year-old boy who is sent to the north woods of Minnesota to live with his grandmother, a cook for a rough-and-tumble road-building crew, because his father is off fighting in World War II and his mother has taken a job in a factory. Paulsen's simply told story strikes extraordinary emotional chords, from the boy's wide-eyed wonder at the giant men and their giant machines, to his searing rage at his mother's new boyfriend (the real reason he's been packed off to the woods), to his profound love for his grandmother, to his aching loneliness for his mother. Paulsen expertly balances sensitive probing of the boy's mental and emotional life with superb descriptions of the boy helping the men build the road, making Paulsen's unnamed hero one of the most fully realized characters in recent memory. Those hungry for adventure stories, as well as more introspective readers, will be spellbound by this stirring novel, which is every bit the equal of The Winter Room and Paulsen's other works. Ages 10-12.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-- In its simplicity of story line but depth of imagery and emotion, Paulsen's latest work is very much like MacLachlan's Sarah , Plain and Tall (Harper, 1985). During World War II, the father is in the army and the mother has to work, so a five-year-old boy is sent to stay with his grandmother who works as a cook for a road-building crew in northern Minnesota. At first his day consists of long stretches of quiet as he tries to amuse himself, only to have the peace invaded by the crew of large, loud, good-natured men who inhale great amounts of food, ruffle the boy's hair, and then get back to work. The boy ultimately gets over his shyness when they take him out to work with them and let him ride in the big trucks. But still, he misses his mother, and soon he is sent back to her. Paulsen does an excellent job of portraying the lightning-quick changes of a young child's emotions, from the upheaval of being sent away to the wonder of coaxing a chipmunk to accept food from his finger, from the exhilaration of being in the large trucks to the quiet security of being sung a Norwegian lullaby. In the boy's eyes, the men are so much larger than life that they seem almost mythic, as if he had been suddenly transported to Paul Bunyan's camp. But he's not so dazzled by their size that he misses the small things: he is equally enthralled by the tiny detailed painting on his grandmother's thimble or the colors in her apple pie. While the boy is very young, his experiences are universal, making this a superb book for readers just old enough to look back and remember their childhoods and grandparents with a feeling of nostalgia. --Susan M. Harding, Mesquite Public Library, TX
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 115 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books (March 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531085279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531085271
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,017,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This story centers around a 5-year-old boys who catches his mother on the couch making strange noises with a man who is not his father. This event is the catalyst for a neglectful mother, who often leaves her son with a drunk babysitter, to send him away on a train to stay with his grandmother. Throughtout the book there are at least 12 references to the sexual event that victimizes the boy, makes him hate "Uncle Casey," and separates him from his mother. The kindness of his grandmother and the men at the cookcamp are overshadowed by recurring memories of a negative sexual event. Infidelity, neglect, haunting memories, separation... not an uplifting or appropriate book for elementary students.
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By Mandy on December 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Cookcamp is a great book by Gary Paulsen. The main idea is a little boy goes to spend the summer with his grandma. My favorit part is when the little boy gets a pair of bibs, a hat, and a pocket knife. I really didn't like the way he was left at the train station. This book really inspired me to read more Gary Paulsen books like Dogsong, The Rifle, Hatchet, Brians Winter,and Voige of the Frog. I would recommend this book for boys that like the outdoors. I'm not going to tell you too much about this book because if you want to know the rest, buy it or check it out at your public libary.
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A Kid's Review on October 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
The main characters in this book are the Boy, and his Grandmother, and mother.The boy and his mother don't get along so his mom sends him at five years of age to live with his grandmother.They live in a trailer where there's a construction site.His grandmother makes food for the men .He gets on a train to head up to Minneapolis where he gets on a other train to go to Canada.When he gets there his grandmother waits.He works with grandmother to serve food. He rides in trucks with the men.for me this was one of the best books I've read. I hope you enjoy it.
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A Kid's Review on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I think this book is a good book because he has to go to his grama's house and her grama is very nice. she cooks him apple pie and she lets them go work with the guys. and he can drive the big truck and all the guys want him to go with them. and the boy has a really good time with the men.....
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A Kid's Review on December 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I like this book becouse it is a good book for youth kids it is a adventure book the boy has to go to his grandma's house becouse his mom got a boy freind and her boy freind did not want him to stay and his mom had to work and she did not have anybody to take carve him so he had to go live with his grandma.
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Format: Paperback
Gary Paulsen writes a thought-provoking book from a very young boy's point of view, and does it perfectly. Not many adult writers can write from a child's point of view and pull it off; Paulsen often does and The Cook Camp is his best.

While this book is fine for young adult readers, adults will definitely benefit from reading it. Sometimes as adults we may forget what life is like from a very young child's point of view. Paulsen writes so well that it's a reminder for everyone how the very young view their world, the people in it, and are deeply affected by things they can't
understand.

The story is simple: a very young boy is sent to live with his Grandmother, who cooks for a camp of loggers in a remote area of the North. He is sent there by his mother, for reasons which become clear during the boy's visit. The first time I read the book I was afraid something terrible would happen to him during his stay at the camp. However, his Grandmother and the men working in the camp love the boy dearly and take excellent care of him. None the less, he misses his mother desperately and wishes he could go home. When his Grandmother fully comes to understand the reason he was sent to stay with her, she takes matters into her own hands and her love for her grandson sets things right.

This book tugs at the reader's heart, particularly older teen and adult readers. It's a good story, about love, compassion, confusion, and how choices affect those around us.
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By A Customer on December 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Imagine: playing with a chipmunk, riding on a bulldozer, and having your own pocketknife when you are only five years old. The main character is a boy who is five years old and does all of these things. The boy and his grandma lived in the country, outside the small town of Pine, Minnesota, cooking for a group of men, during World War II. While he was living with his grandma, he became lonely, missing his mother, who lived in Chicago.I liked this novel, but at times it seemed to go on forever. The novel was very interesting because the boy seemed to have a different adventure everyday. Somedays he rode on the machinery with the men, and other days he played outside with the few toys he had. The novel was very detailed and I could feel what the characters were feeling. When the boy was lonely, I was lonely. It was so detailed. I could see the pies and milk he drank! The one part I really disliked is that Gary Paulsen didn't give the main character a name.
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A Kid's Review on November 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Cookcamp by Gary Paulsen is a wonderful book I think everyone should read.The Cookcamp is about a boy who goes to stay whith his grandmother during the war.The actual reason the boy went to stay with his grandmother is because after his father went to war,the boy saw his mother and his uncle Casey[Casey isn't really his uncle.]making out on the couch.After he saw them his mother sent him away.At the cookcamp the boy's grandmother cooks for al of these men who are building a road.While at the cookcap,the boy helps the men.He sits in their laps,and once they teach him how to drive,he steers the vechicles for them.The boy is having fun,but then he starts to miss his mother.Will the boy stay with his grandmother,or go back to his mother?The Cookcamp by Gary Paulsen is a wonderful novel I think everyone should read.
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