Published by: Image Comics
Written by: Steven T. Seagle
Illustrated by: Jason Adam Katzenstein
Format: Softcover, 6 x 8, 248 pages, $16.99
There are a few key words that best describe Camp Midnight. Creative. Creepy. Hilarious. For me, the combination of these three words mean I should absolutely, without a single doubt, not only read this graphic novel, but also plan on assigning it to my students.
Resisting her “step-monsters” insistence that she go to summer camp Skye is determined to prove that camp is not for her. In fact, she plans on purposely not fitting in. At least that’s the plan . . . . Brave and witty for a young adult, huh?
Not so much. Skye boards the wrong bus and is now much worse off than she originally masterminded. Much, much, much more worse off. She quickly learns that while traveling to a spooky place called Camp Midnight she will not be able to be an outsider amongst peers. She’ll be an outsider amongst full-fledged monsters, for who else would attend a camp called Camp Midnight? With one saving grace, however, Skye actually wont be alone. Lucky for her she is befriended by the only other two humans on the Camp Midnight bus.
Together they set off to deal with full-fledged monsters at a camp perfectly named to fit the themes and tone of this graphic novel: Camp Midnight.
Language Arts Elements of Story
Plot: Skye doesn't want to go to camp. But she ends up at a camp she never could’ve predicted she wouldn't like. Camp Midnight is inhabited by monsters. With only a few human friends to relate to will Skye be able to survive her camping experience with monsters?
Major Characters: Skye, Skye’s mom, the “Step-Monster”, Gayle, Dale, Griffin, Mia, ghost bus driver, Counselor Cobb, Medusa Cabin Girls, Rina, Abcynthia, Branwyn, Lachette, campers
Major Settings: Camp Midnight, Camp Midnight bus, Skye’s mom’s home, Skye’s father’s car, Skye’s father’s house, cabins, cafeteria, Mount Skull, Forrest
Themes: Alliances, Friendship, Camp, Tradition, Identity, Fear and Courage
Lesson Plan Recommendations Using the Common Core Standards for Middle and/or High School Readers
Key Ideas and Details:
Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
* The number(s) referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards (www.commoncore.org)
A Common Core Standard for High School is used because Camp Midnight is appropriate for both high school and middle school (both of which are covered in the standard above).
Lesson Idea for Middle School and/or High School Readers
Directions: Ask students to pair up and read Camp Midnight together. Next, have students take on the role of either Skye or Mia. Together, each pair needs to write an original script (similar to Reader’s Theatre) that highlights the two characters’ developments throughout the text, specifically emphasizing the character at the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
When students are done they can perform their scripts for the entire class or another class, perhaps even a lower grade level or “buddy” reading class.
Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2014); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (2015). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her three wiener dogs, Samantha, Max, and Alex Morgan Monnin.