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Box of Shocks

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Oliver has helicopter parents--they love him, but they seriously cramp his style. He decides to fill an old wooden box with souvenirs from some of his outrageous and daring exploits. That way, he'll never forget the zombies, the killer dogs and the crazy cows, and his parents will never know that he once jumped from a bridge with the police in hot pursuit. But the biggest ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Orca Book Publishers
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  94 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Kay Den
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
At first the story seemed to be boring. Oliver has parents that are overprotective. He hides in the basement because that is the only place he is sure that his parents won't go. When he finds an empty box buried in the basement, he decided that he is going to fill it up with souvenirs from his crazy adventures to shock his parents. But then while Oliver is away on vacation the story takes an unexpected emotional turn, and Oliver learns that there are other things that are more important than doi ...more
Lisa McManus
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book! Loved the storytelling, the flow of the writing, the POV - all of it. I loved following young Oliver's adventures, funny and carefree yet determined to keep his box a secret, only to have the story take an emotional turn at the end. This one's going on my keeper shelf. Loved it loved it loved it!
Sunnyvale Librarian
Oliver's parents love him, of course. But they smother him with their love and concern. He likes to spend time in the basement of the house because it's the one place where his parents won't enter. His mom is afraid of the spiders, snakes and mice that she's sure live down there and his dad has a dust allergy. Plus, because the house is old, the basement floor is dirt.

Oliver is sure if he digs enough he'll find treasure. And he does. He finds an empty box. Empty it may be but it is full of one
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, edes-546
McMahen, Chris. (2011). Box of shocks. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers.

Oliver’s need to break away from his parents’ ever safety-conscious, over scheduling every moment of his life leads him down a road of deception. He never dreams that his plans could have such an impact on anyone else, until Diggory arrives.

I wanted to like this book; students gushed over how it was a really good story with an action packed ending, and that it deserved to win the MYRCA. What they didn’t say was that there
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012, ya
Oliver is tired of his overbearing parents. He decides to keep of stash of objects which have meaning to him, and only him, tucked away behind the wall in his closet. Among the objects are a piece of candy from trick-or-treating at the scariest house in town, a metal spike taken from a yard controlled by a very big and very scary dog, and the wrapper of a burger from an establishment said to put worms in their meat mix. The "Box of Shocks" keeps Oliver thinking ahead for what to do next. An enco ...more
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was so many things: suspenseful, fast-paced, realistic, hilarious, and heartwarming. I experienced sooo many emotions whilst reading it.

In the middle of the story, while Oliver was creeping through his old house--now his neighbours'--and finding evidence of odd behaviour, I was like omg omg what if his neighbours were like the lunatics in The Burbs!

Haha but yeah, this was a pretty awesome little book.

Hope there's a sequel!!

(view spoiler)
Aug 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: jr-high, intermediate
"Box of shocks" reminds me of a group of grade 7 boys I taught, who had established a lunchtime club to do "crazy" things. While their list of outlandish acts included rolling in the snow without a coat and doing a Gagnam Style dance down the mall at lunch, the impetus to break free is identical to Oliver's drive. While not my favourite novel, I did appreciate Oliver's gradual introduction to his new neighbour and McMahen's ability to establish a non-saccharine relationship between the two boys.
Jennifer Lyon
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wasn't quite sure how I felt about Ollie at first. He is a kid who feels smothered by his helicopter parents and is looking for something to do that would shock them if they knew. He digs up a box and puts mementos of his escapades in it. While he is at his aunt and uncle's farm over the summer his parents buy the house across the street and move. The problem is Ollie has hidden the box in his old closet and needs to get it back. Unfortunately someone is renting the house already. I liked watc ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Funny book, suitable for children ages 8-12, with an important message in it. Although the author touches on a sensitive topic, he treads carefully and addresses it in an age-appropriate manner, without being too graphic for the young audience.
Tule Xiong
Sep 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
im about to start this!
Gillian Chapnick
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-collection
Great read-aloud for grade 4. Presents child-centred problems.
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I like how Oliver leaves his box of shocks for his friend
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Chris McMahen is an elementary school teacher-librarian living near Armstrong, British Columbia. When he's not busy writing, teaching, or spending time with his family, he can be found cycling the back roads of the Spallumcheen Valley or making peculiar pottery.

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