It’s 1943, and nearly-12-year-old George and his older brother Jack are spending a restless wartime summer in Whitby, Ontario, where their mom is working at a munitions plant while their dad is off fighting the Germans. One afternoon, the boys stumble across Canada’s top-secret spy camp-and so begins an exciting and terrifying adventure as George and Jack get caught up in the covert activities of Camp X.
Fascinated by Camp X and its secrets, the boys begin to suspect local townspeople of being spies. Unable to resist the camp’s allure, the boys keep going back to find out more details of what’s going on-they even meet William Stephenson, the Man Called Intrepid himself. They also attract the attention of a very sinister character, someone who is determined to use George and Jack’s knowledge against the Allies, no matter the consequences…or the casualties.
In Camp X, popular young-adult novelist Eric Walters shows the domestic side of the Second World War, telling the story of two young boys and their wartime adventures in Canada. Even though all the fighting was happening overseas, the two brothers realize that another type of crucial struggle is taking place right under their noses. George, 12, and Jack, 14, live in the town of Whitby in rural Ontario. Their mother works in a munitions plant nearby, and their father is fighting overseas. It’s summer vacation, so the boys have plenty of time on their hands, and Jack is typically leading George into trouble. While playing in the forest, they become lost and stumble across a strange military base, but are quickly told by a soldier to leave and not return.
Driven by intense curiosity, the boys return to the base, where they’re discovered again and interrogated by the head of the camp, a lieutenant-colonel. They’ve wandered into a top-secret spy training facility. They also learn that not all dangers in the war are overseas, and that spies can lurk in the most unexpected places, even in their own town. With plenty of action and adventure and an authentic feel for the period, Camp X is a great read. (Ages 12 to 16) —Mark Frutkin