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Camo Girl

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  973 ratings  ·  183 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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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  973 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The line we draw around ourselves sort of breaks open. For a moment, we're a figure eight. Everything else is outside, and it's just us. In.

Ever notice how like attracts like?

For example, when I was raising my first child, I hung out with all of the overachieving moms and drank hot beverages with them while we compared notes on whose child was playing which instrument and whose kids' needs were being met in the talented and gifted program.

Now, on my third child, I hang out with all of the broken
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 17, 2015 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
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
it was a really good book its starts off slow but as u keep reading it gets really good
Nov 24, 2010 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
Feb 27, 2016 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
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it
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
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
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ncbla
Sixth grader Ella suffers some self-esteem issues to the vitiligo that causes light brown and dark brown coloring across her face. Because of this effect, some of her classmates call her "Camo Girl." Feeling shunned by others and mourning her father, Ella spends her free time with her friend Zachariah (Z) who has created a fantasy world which helps them cope with the painful reality in both of their worlds. When a new boy enters the class, he has more in common with the two than might appear on ...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. ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I read this book, it gave me an ache in my heart. Not because I was reading about a great and terrible love, but because how much I could relate to it.
The bullying, the self-confidence, the race issue, trying to be popular, accepting you aren't pretty but maybe attractive to someone. This book, is so well-crafted. If only I had found this four years ago...
Katie Lalor
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2011 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. ...more
Feb 26, 2015 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. ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How do you accept others when you don't accept yourself? How do you expect others to accept you when you don't accept yourself? ...more
Mrs. Speckie
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is another beautiful and honest narrative by Kekla Magoon. (The last book I read of hers was The Season of Styx Malone). Ella's life has gotten harder in the last three years, so has her friend Z's life. They form a bond, supporting each other. This support is crucial for the day-to-day getting by, but what they need is healing. One day, from out of the blue, Bailey shows up. He's amazing, but can he fit? Ella sees a chance to enter a whole new world when she's with Bailey, but Z seems to n ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
It seems that Eleanor (that's not her real name) has found a way to cope with the death of her father but it involves cutting herself off from her friends, hiding behind a physical difference that was never a problem before, and escaping into the make believe world of a friend who cannot function in reality. So is she really coping? Add to the mix an interesting new boy in school who makes reality seem worthwhile again and wants to be her friend. Can she go back to the real world? How will her f ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I read Kekla Magoon's How It All went Down this past May, I could not stop talking (and posting) about the novel and its the provocative storyline and multiple perspectives. I have even suggested it for a Law & Literature course.
Today I read Camo Girl, another important story, written for readers in Grades 5 and up. Ella and Z are sixth-grade outcasts and they are best friends. But they are not best friends because they are outcasts; they are there to support each other--no questions asked
Micah Parchman
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book Camo Girl was actually really good because I could relate to what Eleanor was going threw, she felt left out and felt like she didn't belong because she was colored/black. She was the only black kid in her class until a boy came along who was also black sand his name was Bailey James. who was actually nice to her. bailey made a lot of friends easily and fast. Before Bailey James came to that school Eleanor used to get called Cam face. Now later in the story Eleanor had another friend na ...more
Jeni Enjaian
Kekla Magoon continues to amaze me. I will be forever grateful that I stumbled across her book "The Rock and the River" while planning the Civil Rights Era book club for my advanced students. Not only did that book blow my mind, but reading that book caused me to add all of Magoon's other works to my to read list.

In this book, Magoon hooked my attention in the first paragraph; I could not put the book down. She creates engaging characters, realistic struggles, and does not shy away from dealing
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Camo Girl is very inspirational. There are so many relatable events in this book and they are inspiring in a way. I liked the "lesson" in this book, but the BIG thing for me is that it is written in the point of view of a sixth grader, and it reads like the book was written by a sixth grader. The message in the book is beautiful, but the situations as far as Ella braiding her hair and trying to figure out where to sit, are childish.
Ella has stuck by Z's side through thick and then. He has also s
Ella and Z have been friends for as long as they can remember. Each of them has overcome hardship and are targets of teasing at school, but they are always there for each other, even if that means Ella going along with Z's alternate reality. When Bailey starts at their school, he starts being friendly to Ella and through them spending time together, Ella starts to feel more accepted. She starts to struggle at balancing being a friend with both boys and Z's behavior starts to show this.

A nice sto
Katie Seehusen
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judy E.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ella is torn between her long time friend Z and the popular new boy Bailey, who is the only other black student in Ella's sixth grade class. As the friendship between Bailey and Ella grows, Z retreats further into a fantasy existence, and only Ella can save him from bullies and depression. Each of these three well drawn characters must deal with problems from their past.." everyone has something to hide." ...more
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good, safe read for middle schoolers with no cursing. Ella, who has vitiligo, and Z, who is homeless and living at Walmart, are misfits at school. They watch out for each other and defend against the bullies. Then a new student comes and changes everything when he is interested in Ella.
Charlotte Young Bowens
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
The writing in this book is so vibrant and you can help but connect to the characters despite their flaws. Giving voice to biracial children is so important, this story is a must read for any person wanting to get enlightenment about young girls living in current times.
I wanted to like this more than I did. The characters were likable. There were really heavy issues for middle school and really no parental involvement whatsoever. Maybe that is a reality for some kids - but it felt a bit forced in this book.
Ms. Alicia
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Reminded me of Freak the Mighty. Such poignant moments of insight about grief, familial stress, friendship and bullying.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ella and Zachary have been known as the “weird kids” in their class. Everything is the same until a new kid named Bailey appears in Ella’s class. Bailey is the most popular kid in the school and creates a bond with Ella. However, if she wants to go with Bailey, she has to leave Zachary behind. What will happen next? Read to find out!
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