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Stevie Marsh is off for the summer to learn about computers at Camp Viper. He’s not happy about being in the woods with all the bugs and poison ivy and—yuck!—snakes. But how bad can computer camp be? Then Stevie finds out Camp Viper isn’t a computer camp at all. The vipers at this camp are the kind that slither!
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George Stanley is the author of the Adam Sharp series. Stanley, a professor at Cameron University, teaches writing and foreign languages, including Albanian, Zulu, and Xhosa. The author lives in Lawton, OK.
Since 1989, Jared Lee has been entertaining kids with his hysterical illustrations for the Black Lagoon series, which includes The Principal from the Black Lagoon, The School Nurse from the Black Lagoon, and of course the book that started it all, The Teacher from the Black Lagoon. He lives in Lebanon, OH.
Gr. 1-2. Stevie's parents arrange for him to go to what they think is a computer camp, but when he gets there, he discovers that "Viper" is not the name of a software program. It's a snake camp, where kids get to handle snakes and learn all about them. And Stevie is terrified of snakes. He's clever enough to hide his fear and lie his way out of direct confrontation, until he finds a pet snake he loves and overcomes his fear. The plot is decidedly contrived in this chapter book in the Road to Reading series, but the hissing, slimy, scaly stuff is fun, and the cartoon illustrations exaggerate the shudders. Many kids will recognize the common terror that camp might turn out to be a nightmare. They will also enjoy seeing a boy overcome his worst fear and find a pet. Hazel Rochman
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