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Camille McPhee Fell Under the Bus ...

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  180 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Fair: just, equitable, what is right.
Unfair: the life of Camille McPhee.

Imagine being Camille McPhee. She has low blood sugar, so she carries extra food in a cooler. Would you want to do that?

Didn’t think so.

And you wouldn’t want to fall under the school bus. That happened to Camille, too!

Her cat, Checkers, is lost. And her best friend, Sally, moved to Japan. It would be h
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 350)
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The Library Lady
My 10 year old JR started reading this book, then gave it back to me. And I am really starting to marvel at her excellent judgment for kids literature, which seems to be far better than most of the grownups who write the reviews.

This book is a mess. Nothing but trials, tribulations and whining by both Camille and her parents, all of whom seem extremely unlikeable. I kept wondering why Camille's classmate Polly tries so hard to make friends with her!

Then, after a book of everything going wrong,
Feb 22, 2010 paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I don't read as much middle-grade realistic girls' fiction as I probably should. Maybe it's all like this - emotionally raw and extremely internal but with a sprinkling of situational humor.

I kept thinking this read like an adult woman therapeutically writing out her childhood trauma - Camille is wounded and sad, forced to cope, at the age of ten, with quarreling parents and the sudden loss of a best friend. The strategies she develops for insulating herself from emotional harm and for soothing
Camille is having a rough time as a fourth grader. Her best friend has moved to Japan, and Camille has not gotten a letter from her yet. She has low blood sugar and has to carry extra food to school in a cooler which makes her stand out from the others. Her desk is right under a dangling hornet. And to top it all off, she fell under the bus when she was trying to get on. It’s enough to make someone give up entirely! But not Camille McPhee. Instead she is hopeful that things will get better. She ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cat for

Camille McPhee has a lot to deal with - the constant threat of low blood sugar, her health freak, home/self-improvement obsessed mom's mid-life crisis, best friend Sally Zook's relocation to Japan, science classes that are too advanced for fifth grade, and a pair of bullies responsible for her recent fall under the school bus.

Thank goodness she has "great, thick, caramel brown, movie star hair" and a plan to fly under the radar like the brilliant dingo she saw
catherine james
Camille McPhee Has a lot to deal with: the constant threat of low blood sugar; her health freak, home/self-improvement obsessed mom's mid-life crisis; best friend Sally Zook's relocation to Japan, science classes that are too advanced for fifth grade; and a pair of bullies responsible for her recent fall under the school bus. Thank God she has "great, thick, caramel brown, movie star hair" and a plant to fly under the radar like the brilliant dingo she saw at the zoo, 'cause Camille's life is ab ...more
Life can be challenging and fair's got nothing to do with it. Parents are people. Friendship's a worthwhile risk. There's a lot to think about when you're ten in the real world. Which is why I'm so glad Lucy and I read this fun and fabulously thought provoking book.

You can listen in on our chat about this book on our Just One More Book! Children's Book Podcast.

Mentioned in this chat:
Life Without Limbs: Nick Vujicic
Don’t Need Friends
Horrid Henry

More books including less-than-perfect families on
jessica wilson
Jan 13, 2010 jessica wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young readers 8-12
What is with all the quirky titles in kid's literature these days? I have to admit that I picked up this book purely based on three things.

1. The Title (Camille McPhee1)
2. The cover art (I lurve Ms. Dardik's art)
3. I've been missing kid's books

Other than those three things, I had no idea what to expect. There are a lot of intermediate reads that are told in first person. And there are probably more than I can count that are about quirky girls and clever statements, but from the first paragraph
Mar 28, 2015 Vivian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I confess, I did not read this book. However, my daughter gave me a blow by blow and even though she got 3/4 of the way through it could not bring herself to finish it. She said that the character was a Junie-B or an Amber Brown wanna-be, but fell dismally short of the mark. At first she could see her teenage younger sister being like the character, but the character went further and further from the realm of being even slightly relateable. First of all, what child do you know who would even thi ...more
I wasn't a huge fan of this book. As a young fourth grader, Camillie McPhee comes to realize that sometimes life just isn't fair. From her best friend moving to her parents separating to falling under the bus, she knows life has its ups and downs. But what she also comes to realize, with the help of her new friend, is that she always gets back up.
The final moral of the story is fantastic, but getting there was tough. I didn't feel like this book was written exceptionally well as it just seemed
Rebecca Collins
Nov 04, 2015 Rebecca Collins rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: olivia
I really enjoyed reading this book! The title is very interesting that is how I decided to read this book. I mean the tile 'Camille Mcphee Fell under the Bus' I think would want o make anyone curious. I recommend this book to anyone who likes Realistic Fiction.
Laura Pauling
Jun 09, 2010 Laura Pauling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ten-year-old Camille McPhee relates the ups and downs of her fourth grade year at her Idaho school as she tries to adjust to the absence of her best friend, maintain control of her low blood sugar, cope with the intensifying conflict between her parents, and understand the importance of honesty and fairness. (from the inside cover)

I really enjoyed this book. The cover and title immediately made me want to read it. It had a bit of a slow start but Camille's voice was honest and funny and her ups
This was good sort of similar to books like the Ramona series. But not as good. I Liked Camille even if she was a brat at times. However I hated the character of the mother. Actually both The parents were pretty one note characters
The beginning of this book really caught my attention. It was such an unfortunate event for poor Camille McPhee to fall under the bus but, somehow, the author managed to add humor to such a predicament. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Camille and chuckle at the same time. The tragedies in her life may be seen at times as too many and, perhaps, too far-fetched but I think that, when seen through the eyes of a preteen, life often seems pretty tragic. I was, however, a bit bothered by Camille's ...more
Briana Mcloud
Aug 30, 2015 Briana Mcloud rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sorry to say this but this is worst book ever! Dead serious. The only reason my daughter and and I finished this was due to morbid curiosity. Filled with unlikeable characters, inappropriate content and horrible structure. Just no.
Feb 26, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: My mother
Well, this book was rather okay, I guess. Ten-year-old Camille McPhee has high blood sugar, so she carries around a cooler full of food. One day, she slips under the bus (hence the title). Her best friend moved to Japan, her parents always argue about financial problems, and her international calling card, well, more about that later. With the school play, Polly, Checkers, and Sally, it's hard to be optimistic in life. At least, for Camille it is. And I have to say, if I were in her spot, I prob ...more
Jul 07, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The upper elementary crowd should love this laugh-out-loud funny book about the "unfair" life of Camille McPhee. From falling under the bus to her parents splitting up to her best friend moving to Japan to having diabetes and having to carry around a cooler full of food where ever she goes, Camille is a lovable yet somewhat pitiable character. Camille's deadpan humor and the fact that the author managed to precisely depict the thoughts, language, and actions of fourth graders really make this bo ...more
Addison Children
A school story for girls about a fourth grader with hypoglycemia and parents who are considering divorce. It's okay.
Jul 25, 2010 Boni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the voice of this book- Camille felt like a very real 10-year-old through her experiences (and the way she related those experiences) and her actions. I love how impulsive and imperfect she is, and how the author was so willing to let her be so. Quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, and I loved the satire of the play idea, and so many of Camille's observations... I also enjoyed the way the author didn't feel the need to over-explain things or make everything reasonable- made the story feel ...more
Judi Paradis
Camille is an odd kid and perhaps that is why she doesn't have a whole lot of friends. She's got low blood sugar and lugs a cooler full of food around, she pretends she's a dingo who needs no friends, and survives falling under a school bus in the snow. She is also really worried about her parents, who fight all the time. As the book unfolds, Camille eventually figures out how to make some friends, and how to survive with her difficult parents. While I don't think this book is going to be a grea ...more
While I did enjoy some parts of the book - which stopped me from rating it with just one star - overall I was disappointed. I could not connect to any of the characters and at some point wondered whether this book had more of a strong message for parents than for kids. While I had sympathy for Camille who has to deal with quite a lot at such an early age, I did not see her developing and learning from the experience. Affected by all the problems around her, she too is not able to see someone els ...more
Camille McPhee is in 4th grade and her life is falling apart. She can't seem to keep from falling and bumping into things, her parents are always fighting over money, her best friend moved to Japan and she's been cast as a drowning cat in the school play. As Camille works through the difficulties in her life she learns to keep a positive attitude.

Not a great book. I have a hard time believing that an 9-year-old would think and act like this main character. Not believable. In my opinion this book
Dharsini Rangaswamy
This book was kinda boring and the plot wasn't that interesting.
Nov 04, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read! I think this author is really a fourth grader in disguise. She captured the thoughts and feelings of Camille perfectly. I was disappointed that she did not know that almost all handcuffs can be opened with any handcuff key so, in chapter eleven, the police officer would not have used the Jaws to remove the handcuffs. (Which sounds dangerous knowing the size of the Jaws compared to a child's wrist.) I can imagine the hilarious thoughts Camille might have had considering how she imagin ...more
Dec 04, 2010 Thais rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this with my 9 year old daughter. She loved it. You can't help but laugh at Camille and her over dramatic antics and clutsy mistakes. At the same time, her feelings and concerns over her fighting parents are portrayed in a real way but described perfectly for the age group this book was intended (it doesn't go to deep or to much). It isn't very often that you can find a book written for this age that is funny and realisticly serious at the same time. In a nut shell...real and entertaining ...more
Aug 23, 2015 Miss rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Jan 20, 2010 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
I know poor Camille has more problems than a 10-year-old should have to carry, but I couldn't feel sorry for her. I thought she was just mean. Maybe this book is supposed to explain why some girls are mean - they're just trying to prevent themselves from getting hurt. I will say, however, that my 10-year-olds were really feeling for Camille and rooting for things to work out for her.
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kaethe by: SLJ
We started it last night. Camille has a big head, and I rather like the cover illustration, showing her with an exaggeratedly big head, not quite pointy enough to be the football head of Arnold, but close. So far she has fallen under the bus, thus initiating what looks to be a really bad day.


I think we can declare this done. We just never went back to it
Jan 10, 2010 Jana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would say 3.5 on the side of 4. Camille is a great fourth grade character, trying to stay a float in life after her best friend moves away and her parents start having marital problems. I adored Camille and her insecurities and the strength she gains. Her mother, on the other hand, seemed kind of like an idiot.
Cute book for 3rd-5th grade readers (book is about a 4th grade girl). The 5th grade girl I nanny loved it and thought it was hilarious, but I found the text a bit rambling. The story didn't really go anywhere. Still, it was cute and silly. It's not going to win a Newberry by any means, but it's a fun read for kids.
Scottsdale Public Library
This book is full of wonderful anecdotes like rabid squirrels, unusual teachers, and fish resurrections. Camille McPhee herself is pure entertainment. While she survives her slide on the black ice under the school bus, she might not survive her parents or her school play.

-Tiffany J.
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