Jennifer Wardrip's Reviews > Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel

Ellie McDoodle by Ruth McNally Barshaw
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Reviewed by Bri P. for

It's camping time for Ellie McDougal but she's not happy about it. Ellie's parents have to go out of town, so she and her baby brother, Ben-Ben, will be going with their Aunt Ug, Uncle Ewing, and cousins Erick, Deanna, and Tiffie. All of the camping supplies are packed and ready to go, including Ellie's sketchbook. Will the trip be as bad as Ellie is afraid it will be?

Through the pages of Ellie's sketchbook, she tells the story of her camping trip. She meets a 13-year-old boy by the name of Scott. He is one interesting character, as he speaks French, Japanese, and English. He wants to learn to draw, which is something that Ellie can help him with. He has to leave but never tells Ellie that he is leaving Campsite 137. She is saddened by her friend leaving. Her opinions of her relatives change throughout the book. In the beginning, she thinks of Erick as being a dinosaur but that changes as it goes along. Erick also collects frogs and thinks he has found the best frog, but holds him too tight -- Oh, no!

The illustrations are very cute and add meaning to the story. The characters you meet in this book are very unusual. The storyline keeps young readers interested. This is a must read for children ages 9-12 who would love to be entertained with a good story and a very easy read. With fewer words and many pictures on each page than most books for this age group, this is a delight. Pack up your bags and get ready for a camping adventure with Ellie along -- it's bound to be a great time! I hope that there are more exciting adventures of ELLIE MCDOODLE books in the future.

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