Have Pen, Will Travel
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
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Ellie McDougal (better known to her friends as Ellie McDoodle because she loves to draw) is a nearly-twelve-year-old prisoner . . . of her aunt, uncle, three annoying cousins, and her baby brother, Ben-Ben. Sentenced to a week-long camping trip with them while her parents are out of town, Ellie is absolutely, positively determined to hate every single minute of the experience. Thank goodness she at least has her sketch journal, in which she records all the excruciating (and okay, very funny) details. Mosquito bites and trips to the Fred Moose museum she can handle. But how will she keep her journal from falling into Er-ick the Enemy's hands? And what will happen when--gasp--she actually starts having fun? Part graphic novel, part confessional journal, part wilderness survival guide, Ellie's story is a treat for young campers, vacationers, or anyone looking for a great summer read.
RUTH MCNALLY BARSHAW, life-long writer and artist, has worked in the advertising field, illustrated for newspapers, and won numerous essay-writing contests. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her family. This is her first book for young readers. Visit her at www.ruthexpress.com.
From Kirkus ReviewsPart journal, part graphic novel, all fun (with echoes of Harriet the Spy), this is a clever account of a growing-up experience that familiar to middle-grade readers. --Kirkus Reviews
From School Library Journal
The engaging text reflects a contemporary preadolescent sensibility and is chock-full of clean, distinguished line drawings on each spread. As Ellie shares her frustrations, conflicts, fun and wildlife facts, readers observe the valuable lessons that she learns about getting along with others-even if they seem to be obnoxious relatives. Ellie hints at further summer surprises, and readers will look forward to her next adventure. --School Library Journal From CurledUp.comEllie's journal encompasses a little frog mystery, a little Seaweed Sally intrigue, and lots of wilderness adventure and drama. Ruth McNally Barshaw's first book for children speaks volumes with its words and its pictures. This record of a diarist is fun to read and recommended. --CurledUp.com From Grand Rapids Press
Lots of voice, humor, and pre-teen attitude shine through the pages in Ellie's journal, not just through words and story, but through her art. The simple line drawings on every page add personality, and the hand-drawn text makes it feel authentic. After experiencing Ellie's way of expressing herself, kids may be inclined to create there own illustrated journals. --Grand Rapids Press
There is nothing to dislike in this charming tale, which is heavily illustrated with whimsical cartoonish drawings. It realistically portrays the characters (even the adults!), giving readers much to consider about the pros and cons of relationships, along with hilarious situations and witty asides --KidsRead.com