Friday, September 10, 2010

Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown

That food-loving crime fighter, the Lunch Lady, returns in this, the fourth installment of the creative and very funny graphic novel series.  This time we leave the familiar setting of the school building and head for the countryside, to cabins, lakes, campfires and -- the swamp monster!

Hector, Terrence and Dee are all going to camp, and they are interested to see Lunch Lady and Betty arrive there, too.  The kids are, of course, hoping for a fun and exciting time, but Lunch Lady and Betty are looking forward to some well-deserved peace and quiet.  However, the strange goings on around the camp - including apparent visits from the legendary swamp monster - put an end to any of the time off that Lunch Lady was hoping for.  When a popular counselor is attacked by the creature, the three friends are determined to help Lunch Lady any way they can.

This is another delightful addition to the Lunch Lady series.  It is just as appealing, accessible, creative and funny as the previous three installments.  Aside from the main threat of the swamp monster, the three children must also deal with unpleasant camp bullies - not to mention a dreadful lack of video games.  Lunch Lady has her usual cache of food-related crime-fighting gizmos, and it is, as always, a pleasure to witness her creative problem-solving skills in action.  The vivid illustrations are a perfect complement to the text and help to make the books very engaging and non-threatening for novice readers.  I love that these books appeal equally to male and female readers - the superhero here is a woman - hooray! - and her sidekicks are two boys and a girl.  Fun for everyone, and characters for everyone to identify with.  I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Lunch Lady series - and so will my kids.  (They kept sneaking off with this when I wasn't looking, so I ended up getting to read it last!)

Here is an interview with author Jarrett Krosoczka at Literary Asylum.  Enjoy!

Books in the Lunch Lady series:

1. Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute
2. Lunch Lady and League of Librarians
3. Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta
4. Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown

Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown (#4 in the Lunch Lady series) by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010)

Source: My local public library

Also reviewed at:
Booking Mama:  "While I definitely enjoy the characters and the plots in the Lunch Lady books, I have to say that the biggest draw to me, as a parent, is that even the most reluctant readers will love these books."
Books:  "While the story is light-hearted, the novel touches on some serious and timely issues, including lying, bullying and jealousy."
Comics Worth Reading:  "Due to the lack of Lunch Lady focus and too much else going on, my favorite book in the series is still the previous, The Author Visit Vendetta, but kids who enjoy the series likely won’t have my qualms."


  1. My son & I read the first 2 but they just didn't thrill us. But glad to you and the girls are enjoying them!

  2. I could have sworn you reviewed this one, but I couldn't find it out there in blogland. Now it all makes sense. I can see that they wouldn't be for everyone, but as a librarian I have a lot of love for a book you can hand to a kid who isn't too thrilled about reading and see his or her face light up when they open it. It gives them permission to have fun with books, to read stuff that's silly and appealing, to not feel like reading is a chore. I like that. :-)

  3. Yes, I know exactly what you mean Darla. You know my boy is autistic and has a hard time reading but right now he's having a blast with (what I might have otherwise called awful) that Ook & Gluk Caveman book by Dav Pikney. He needs lots of help but he's dying to read it everyday, which is a great feeling for me!

  4. Nicola - Hooray for the Ook and Gluk book! Thanks for sharing that - I haven't read it, but I will add that book to my arsenal. :-)


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