I fell behind on my challenge, so I wanted to go with something that I already knew, but needed to read again. And what better than one of my favourite authors of all time, Gordon Korman. This isn’t my favourite work of his, but certainly in my top three. I am still searching for a copy of No Coins, Please which is my all time favourite Korman book. This book, I Want To Go Home is very similar, so just as funny.
This is an early teen book that shows the absolute absurdity of what can go wrong at camp. Camp Algonkian reminds me of camps that I attended, such as Camp Wahonowan on Lake Couchiching for band camp. When I read this book, I picture this place and can relate to some of it. I really enjoyed camp, but Rudy Miller doesn’t. His parents write to the camp Director, Arthur Warden out of concern. It has been recommended by the school’s guidance counsellors that Rudy attend camp to improve his interpersonal skills to essentially become a “normal” child. Arthur’s take is that all boys are just boys. There are no “problem” children. He hasn’t met Rudy Miller yet, and he’s no ordinary kid.
Rudy meets Mike who has been sent to camp as a reward from his parents for good grades. Mike hates camp as much as Rudy does and together they attempt to escape the island. First, they take a boat before dawn and get caught by the OPP and sent back because they don’t have a bailing bucket. The counsellors are none the wiser on this occasion, so they head out the next morning again, equipped with a bucket, but fall asleep and end up back on the island because the sailboat has gone around in a circle.
Rudy is an extremely intelligent child and comes up with a quip a minute. But he doesn’t do anything. It’s not that he cant as we soon find out, but he just doesn’t want to. As a matter of fact, he’s great at everything he does. Soccer, chess, swimming; so good in fact that he saves one of his counsellors from drowning.
I certainly don’t do this book any sort of justice, but suffice to say that this is not the only storyline occuring. There is a side story that comes around in the end and just puts the icing on the cake. I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages, because I still smile at this book even 20 years later. Enjoy.