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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Naughty Boys Camp by Charline M. Miller is a story about parental love and intervention. Lej enjoys being five as there are so many things that he can do without thinking too much of any ramifications. Lej attends a kindergarten school, and like his two friends, Pete and Abe, he is averse to listening to school rules and what adults tell him. Before he totally spirals, his mom considers sending him to Naughty Boys Camp. In some magical twist of events, Lej’s drawing of Naughty Boys Camp sucks him in, and he finds himself meeting Johnny, who gives him a tour around the camp. This is where Lej will begin to understand the meaning of tough love as well as the importance of listening to adults.
Naughty Boys Camp is a story about inculcating discipline. It works because it introduces the idea of boot camp to young children and gives them an inside look at what goes on inside such a camp. As for parents, it gives them a choice and a suggestion in helping their kids become better behaved. As a parent herself, Charline M. Miller writes from the heart and draws on her own experience to bring this story to life. The illustrations add dimension to the theme and message, helping young readers solidly identify with what five-year-old Lej is getting into. It has a strong and pressing message, one that is worth reading and listening to, especially when young people these days are facing an enormous amount of pressure that they struggle to handle, leading to behavioral problems.