Camp X (novel)

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This article is about the novel by Eric Walters. For the military base, see Camp X.
Camp X
Camp X cover.jpg
The front cover of Camp X
Author Eric Walters
Illustrator John Mantha
Cover artist Lisa Jager
Country Canada
Language English
Series Camp X
Genre Spy fiction
Publisher Penguin Canada
Publication date
2002
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 229 pp
ISBN 0-670-91101-1
OCLC 47948477
Followed by Camp 30 (novel)

Camp X is a children's spy novel written by Canadian author Eric Walters. Set in World War II, the novel is about brothers Jack and George, trying to save a top secret Canadian military base called Camp X, which they accidentally discovered after playing a fake game of war.[1]

Camp X was first published in 2002 and was followed by several sequels such as Camp 30, Fool's Gold, Shell Shocked and Trouble in Paradise.[2] The book is dedicated to the memory of William Stephenson, who established the spy camp. He appears in the novel as Little Bill.[3]

Plot summary[edit]

It is wartime, and 11-year-old George and his 14 year old brother Jack had moved with their mother to Whitby, Ontario from their farm in the summer of 1942. Their father is off fighting Germany in Europe and their mom works for a munitions factory. Their summer was plain. But then, one day, after playing Make-believe-war and stumbled into a military base. There, their curiosity lead them to the discovery of Canada's Top Secret Military Base for training spies, Camp X. After sneaking around, they are caught by the guards and were forced to sign the Official Secrets Act.[4] They learn much about the camp and are sent off with tasks improving the security. When delivering newspapers one day for Mr. Krum, Mr.Krum kidnaps the brothers for information about the camp.[5] Jack and George are tortured and almost killed, but learns about the plan to invade Camp X. They get away and warn the Camp X of the attacks that are planned. They risk their lives to warn Camp X.They were not killed.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Jack: Jack Braun is 14.He is the older brother of George. He teases and bosses his little brother George around but is still very friendly to him. He is tough, for a 14 year old,[6] and would want to join the army like his dad in Africa fighting the Germans. He and George have been in many difficult situations but Jack had managed to get them out with his quick thinking. Both Jack's and George's grandfather is German but they both are Canadian.[7]

George: George Braun is 11 and is turning 12 in 2 weeks. He is the younger brother of Jack and gets in fights with him a lot,[8] especially when he teases him, although George loses almost every argument they have.[9] Unlike Jack, George isn't as tough and have to rely on Jack to defend him. But at the end of the book, George proved that he is as tough when Jack's arm got twisted.

Bill: Bill is the Lieutenant Colonel for Camp X. He is responsible for training the spies at Camp X and improving the security. His favorite way of improving the security is with Mr.Granger, who works at the D.I.L. plant. Each week, they take turns trying to get in each other's security and the winner gets a box of cigarettes.[10]

Mr.Krum: Mr. Krum (full name-Rainer Krum)[11] is a Nazi spy disguised as a newspaper editor. He was born in Germany and fought for them in World War 1. He traveled then to Canada as a spy. He tries to use his paper boys Jack and George to get him information about Camp X, and tortures them when they would not give him information.

Minor characters[edit]

Chief Smith: Chief Smith's real name is Schmidt. He was from Germany too, although he was not a traitor. He is the chief of police in Whitby, and one of the few people who knew about the boys' involvement in Camp X[12]

Little Bill: Little Bill was named after William Stephenson. In the book, he was the head of all spy camps in Canada, making him one of the most important and busiest person in Canada. He did not appear very much in Camp X, but is a major character in other books following the novel.

Awards[edit]

In 2003, the book Camp X won the silver birch fiction award in the Forest of Reading program.[13]

Reception[edit]

Bridget Donald's review in Quill & Quire, Canada's magazine of book news and reviews, describes Camp X as an absorbing read and a page-turner, saying that this rather than the historical background is its strength. She notes that the novel does not glorify war though treating the Allied Forces as heroes.[3] In the Edmonton Journal the novel is described as having "the right elements to keep young espionage fans turning the pages", and the Georgia Straight says that the author is his usual thrilling self.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Camp X at Fantastic Fiction
  2. ^ Eric Walters at Fantastic Fiction
  3. ^ a b Quill & Quire review
  4. ^ Camp X, pg 99 (an oath stating that as agents of this government, you will not divulge anything to anybody)
  5. ^ Camp X, page 162-163 (Mr.Krum took his right hand of... and removed a pistol)
  6. ^ Camp X, page 73 (...and saw him smack the biggest kid right in the side of the face
  7. ^ Camp X, pg 63 (your last name is Braun, that makes you of German heritage)
  8. ^ Camp X, pg 23 (Do you two have to fight about everything?...I guess we have too
  9. ^ Camp X, pg 39-40
  10. ^ Camp X, pg 129 (box of cigars...I had a bet on whether or not he could infiltrate the plant
  11. ^ Camp X, pg 63 (my full name is Rainer Krum)
  12. ^ Book Fool's Gold, pg 45 (Well, Bill had to tell Chief Smith.. real story)
  13. ^ Silver Birch -Forest of Reading
  14. ^ Camp X - Amazon Canada product description