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Camo Girl

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  762 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
Set in a suburb of Las Vegas, Ella and Zachary, called Z, have been friends forever, but Z has always been “the weird kid” in their class. He collects stubby pencils, plays chess, and maintains an elaborate –and public– fantasy life, starring himself as a brave knight. Z’s games were okay back in 3rd or 4th grade, but by now their other friends have ditched them both. Z do ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Aladdin
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See You at Harry's by Jo KnowlesA Monster Calls by Patrick NessCamo Girl by Kekla MagoonCinder by Marissa MeyerHidden by Helen Frost
2016 Rebecca Caudill Nominees
3rd out of 20 books — 5 voters
Big River's Daughter by Bobbi MillerFlutter by Erin E. MoultonDon't Touch by Rachel M. WilsonIf All the Animals Came Inside by Eric PinderTracing Stars by Erin E. Moulton
VCFA Student/Alum Books
24th out of 136 books — 23 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,374)
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Maya Connell
Characters: Ella, Zacharie, Bailey.
Conflict: Ella has skin that is different shades in some places and is supposedly "ugly". Zacharie, or Z, lives in a fantasy world where everything is magical and unreal. Suddenly a new kid comes along and shows shows something to Ella that has never happened to her before.
Authors writing: It puts you on the side of the person being laughed at than the person laughing. It shows you the responsibility of having a best friend that doesn't come back to reality oft
Lesly Duran
May 12, 2016 Lesly Duran rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2015 Frances rated it really liked it
Ella has been constantly bullied. Most of the bullying has been because of her face with different colors of brown. The common bully, Jonathan Hoffman, calls her "camo-face" or "came-girl." The other bullying is because she hangs out with a boy named "Z" who imagines reality into a fairytale. But that all changes when Bailey comes to school.

Bailey is the only other black kid, and in his company, Ella feels that she finally has a hot at being normal. However, Z and Bailey clash. As Z hates Bailey
Feb 27, 2016 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realistic-fic
Grades: 4-7
Awards: Caudill list 2016

Ella and Z have been friends for a long time. They are both outcasts in their Las Vegas suburban town. Ella is biracial and has a skin condition, hence the name the kids call her at school: Camo-girl. It is never explained what exactly Z is suffering from, but he is clearly suffering from a psychological disorder that causes him to live through a fantasy world. Ella's world changes when Bailey moves to town. Suddenly there is another African American in school
Feb 07, 2011 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
The author of The Rock and the River returns with another amazing book. Ella is not part of the popular crowd at school. In fact, she is the lowest of the low. Teased by about her uneven skin coloring, some of her classmates call her Camo Face, Ella has trouble even looking at herself in the mirror. She has her best friend, Z, who has been her friend for many years, but Z is getting stranger and stranger, losing himself in stories and roles. Now there is a new boy at school, a boy who doesn’t se ...more
Clara C
In this story Ella has mixed skin. She thinks she has everything figured out with Z her friend. Her x friend dose'nt hang out with her much. But all of that changes when Baily the new kid in school takes a fancy in her. She thinks she can handle the both of them. When she just relized whats always been there. Z is not totally ok. Z hates Baily for taking away Ella. The author wrote an incredible story. Packed with some lies a little adventure and knights.
Ellie and Z are best friends bonded by being different and thus the target of a school bully. Z lives in an imaginary world while Ellie, the only African American at her school, has a mottled commplexion and is known as "camo girl." When new student Baily James arrives at school, Ellie is no longer the only African American. She and Baily forge a friendship that Z is not at all comfortable with. While Ellie like having a new friend and being accepted at the cools kids table, she feels an obligat ...more
Katie Lalor
Jan 03, 2016 Katie Lalor rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Serena Brown
Middle school, a place where your teachers get harder, making friends gets easier, and everyone is pretty much the same, except for Ella and Z. Ella and Z are not average middle schooler's , sure they take classes and sure they are fairly smart, but they are not normal! Ella (referred to as Eleanor or better pronounced Ellie-nor) is pretty much normal, but pretty much doesn't mean she is normal. Constantly getting made fun of or being called " Camo face" or "C.F" she is always being bullied. If ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it
Ella is the only African American kid at her school and it doesn’t help that her skin is darker in some spots and lighter in others. Her father died when she was in third grade and since then her life seems to be falling apart. Her ex-best friend Millie doesn’t want to have anything to do with now, and Millie only hangs with the popular 6th grade crowd. “Z” is Ella’s only friend; Zachariah lost his dad too, but in a different way. His Dad left when he lost all his family money while gambling, so ...more
Jul 17, 2014 Claire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myra-selections
This is an excellent Middle School novel. Bullied in school, Ella and Z have had some tough issues and have only each other for friendship. Ella's dad died of cancer and Z's dad abandoned he and his mom. Ella's mom had to take a job where she is home only 3 days per week, so her grandma came to live with them and she gets along okay, but life is even harder for Z. When his dad left, he and his mom lost their home and now they secretly sleep inside the local 24-hour Walmart Store where is mom wor ...more
Grace Johnson
Camo Girl
Kekla Magoon

Main Characters-Ella (Ellie-nor)- a kind girl who always takes it upon herself to care for her friends. Zachariah (Z) - An outcast to the others at school, often teased, different. Bailey- a popular boy at school of which Ella has taken a liking to, especially because they’re both black.
Genre- Realistic fiction
Conflict- Ella is having trouble relating to both Bailey and Z, causing Z to be unhappy and her to feel unkind.
My Rating-3 out of 5 stars
Why- I gave Camo Girl this rat
G Perez
Apr 28, 2016 G Perez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wjhs, rebeca-caudill
The book Camo Girl is a good book to read by Rebecca Caudill. It starts off as Z and Ella are known as the "freaks" of the school and no one really talks to them anymore it's just Z and Ella. But one day Ella and Bailey started to play basketball everyday after school and they became really close. When Z went missing Bailey and Ella went on a Journey to find Z in Los Vegas. If you want to see how their journey ends I suggest you read this book and find out. I enjoyed this book because it kept me ...more
Oct 18, 2015 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, tween
If _Ratchet_ was about a missing mom, _Camo Girl_ is about missing dads. It's about the stories we tell ourselves and others to cope with the most painful things in our lives, especially 12 year olds who don't fit in and are struggling to figure out how to deal with all kinds of loss. This book is also about bullying and in/tolerance, and it's about being true to yourself and being loyal to your friends. Mental health also plays an important role--the stigma of it, the courage it takes to recogn ...more
Rida Hoti
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2016 Claire rated it liked it
Shelves: caudill-2016
Camo Girl is about sixth graders Ella and Z that have been friends since 3rd or 4th grade. Z has always been the weird kid at school, but Ella has always been a friend to him. When a new boy moves to town, one thing sparks between Ella and Bailey, the new kid. They’re both black. Ella and Bailey’s racial identity is a strong element to this book. Bailey’s popularity can help expand Ella’s social side and help her make more friends, but nothing is more important to her than her relationship with ...more
Teresa Barnard
Jun 19, 2015 Teresa Barnard rated it really liked it
Compelling plot and characters. Symptoms of Z's "problem" seem to indicate Asperger's Syndrome but Eleanor explains that his behavior escalated after his father left the family. That seems to confuse some of the issues. All three main characters have experienced loss in one way or another of their father figures. This comes out at the end and forges a bond between them. I liked the book, but felt there were holes in the character development. I'm not even sure many white kids would get the whole ...more
Camo Girl so perfectly captures the tension of friendship and the budding awareness of social hierarchy in late elementary/early middle school. Ella and her best friend Z are what I would call young. They aren’t quite ready to join the fracas of their peers stratifying, but Ella at least isn’t immune to the pull of popularity.

Add to this that Z has a difficult home situation that has driven him into a rich fantasy world. And Ella has what sounds like vitiligo, which causes the skin to look mottl
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Lexile Level: 600L
Pages: 224

Summary: An African-American girl with vitiligo is friends with a boy who has trouble living in the real word. They are both outcasts, but then comes a new boy into her life. He will bring the African-American school population to two. He seems perfect and all put together to his classmates, but he has difficulties too. Will these three teens change each other’s lives?

Recommendations or Comments: This book has a lot going on in it. Almost too much. Kids will probably
Feb 12, 2015 Jeanne rated it liked it
Shelves: rebecca-caudill
I really loved The Rock and the River, but I was a little disappointed in Camo Girl. Part of the difference is just the genre; realistic fiction of tweens is definitely not a favorite of mine. And what Magoon did so well, Ella's raw emotions, is exactly what turns me off in these books. I really liked Bailey and I liked what a good friend Ella is to Z. The emotions of this book are incredibly heavy, but I'm not sure if the full impact of it will be felt by its intended audience. I just about cri ...more
Mar 08, 2011 Betsy rated it really liked it
One Sentence Review: Magoon goes contemporary and gritty with this moving portrait of a girl who wants to fit in but can't abandon the only friend she had when she was unpopular.
When I saw the title for the book I assumed I would be reading the story of a girl from a military family. But that is not what Camo Girl is. The camouflage in this book is both the pigment condition Ella has which causes her to have differently-pigmented shades of skin on her face AND the idea of being hidden from sight in a deeper way from the inside out. How do we hide from the reality in our lives that hurt or seem to hard to look at?

Ella is in middle school and has resigned herself to being
May 23, 2015 H rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-caudill
Ella is a biracial girl with unusual pigmentation variations on her face. Difficult life events have isolated her and her friend "Zachariah" from their middle school peers, and they have formed a strange duo on the fringes of the school. When another black student comes to her school, the boy is drawn to Ella, the only other child of color in the school, and the popular Bailey stirs a yearning to fit in for Ella. But what can she do about the marks on her face that set her apart? And how can she ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Katie rated it liked it
Sympathetic characters who are good souls, but have had some hard truths thrown at them (dad left, dad died) and therefore have created a bit of a fantasy world in order to cope. More specifically, Z created the world to help Ella. And now he doesn't really leave that world--so much that the two are ostracized and bullied. She hopes to protect him and does value his friendship, but she's in over her head. When a new kid shows up & expresses interest, she feels guilt at potentially betraying ...more
Feb 28, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it
Typical coming of age/multi cultural book. There was a lot (maybe too much) going on in Ella's life that made her tricky to relate to as a character.
Whisper Poet
May 09, 2014 Whisper Poet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, heartfelt read. Ella and Z have found common ground and friendship in the fact that they are both outsiders at school. They band together to cope with the bullying they face. When a new student, Bailey, shows up at school, befriending Ella, Z feels left out and runs away. Bailey and Ella set out to find him, discovering along the way the commonalities the three share.

The first thing I loved about this book is that it features a bi-racial protagonist, but there is so much more to love. The
May 03, 2015 Simone rated it really liked it
Great mid-level read about preserving friendship within the tenuous social-landscape in middle school, while each dealing with hardships that make them "broken." It's refreshing to have an age-appropriate read that still deals with the reality of things like the death of a parent, another parent leaving the family in debt (resulting in homelessness), and a parent suffering PTSD after coming back from serving in Iraq. These are harsh things in the lives of young teens, but the way the book deals ...more
Hailey Westefer
May 06, 2016 Hailey Westefer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: respect, friends, loyal
This book is amazing. It shows how nice people can be. There is a strong bond between the two people in this book. It was one of the strongest books i have read . Usually books do not have an effect on me but this one really got to me. Mainly because i can relate to the book. Its about a girl being bullied because she is a different color than everyone else. Then a new kid came to the school and he was the same color but he was popular and knowing how popular he is he still stick up for the girl ...more
Aug 06, 2015 Krista rated it it was ok
Shelves: caudill-2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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