GET A CLUE WITH THE CAMP CLUB GIRLS! Join Sydney and the Camp Club Girls as they embark on a series of clue-filled adventures and crack the case in this entertaining and action-packed 4-in-1 mystery collection.Is danger lurking in the nation's capital? The Camp Club Girls are determined to discover what's behind the secret messages left at the Vietnam Memorial. Will the girls unravel the confusing clues at the twilight’s gleaming and deflect any danger before the dawn’s early light?
Is a strange creature lurking in the ocean depths? Sydney and Bailey get more than they bargained for on a visit to North Carolina, where they encounter baffling events on the beaches of the Outer Banks. Will the Camp Club Girls discover who—or what—is leaving the peculiar tracks in the sand?
Is there a wild animal on the loose? Or something even more menacing? While Sydney and Alexis are getting back to nature at a lake in northern Wisconsin, mysterious occurrences catch the super sleuths’ attention. Will the Camp Club Girls solve this mystery before their time in the forest is up?Who's the mysterious woman living in the woods? When Sydney and Elizabeth embark on an adventure in North Carolina, they meet Galilahi, a young girl searching for clues to her Cherokee Indian heritage. Will the Camp Club Girls unveil the necessary clues and help Galilahi find the answers that she so desperately seeks? Join the Camp Club Girls on a series of clue-filled adventures and cheer them on as they crack the case in this entertaining 4-in-1 story collection. Whether the Camp Club Girls are unraveling confusing clues that leads them through Washington, DC, and up to Fort McHenry, investigating peculiar tracks in sand of the Outer Banks, uncovering the source of menacing sounds in the Wisconsin woods, or helping a young girl search for clues to her Cherokee heritage in North Carolina, you'll encounter six charming, relatable characters who combine their mystery-solving skills to save the day.
About the Author
Jean Fischer has been writing for children for nearly three decades, and has served as an editor with Golden Books. She has written with Thomas Kinkade, John MacArthur, and “Adventures in Odyssey,” and is one of the authors for Barbour’s upcoming “Camp Club Girls” series. A nature lover, Jean lives in Racine, Wisconsin.
Read an Excerpt
"Watch out!" someone called near Sydney's ear.
But it was too late. The pent-up explosion of the water landed square against Sydney's back, knocking her to the ground.
Dazed, she rolled onto her back and looked up into the hot summer sky. The water swirled around her whole body. From a distance she heard happy shouting and water gushing onto the street.
A fireman's face appeared above her. "Are you okay, little girl?"
Little girl? Little girl! I'm twelve years old! I'm not a little girl, mister.
The indignation snapped Sydney out of her dazed condition. She looked up and saw that two firemen were now looking at her anxiously. Carefully they helped her to her feet.
"Are you okay, little girl?"
She looked in the fireman's face. He seemed so worried that her irritation melted.
Sydney looked down at her soaked gray tank top and shorts. "Yes, sir, I'm fine," she said. "Thank you," she added, remembering her manners.
Sydney Lincoln had been talking to one of her neighborhood friends. She hadn't even noticed the firemen at the fire hydrant behind her. And she sure hadn't realized she was in the direct line of the nozzle the men were releasing.
Still out of breath from the shock of the water, Sydney dropped onto the curb in front of her house. She tore off her running shoes and socks and stuck her bare feet into the gutter. She watched as the water from the hydrant down the street shot into the air and out the nozzle. The neighborhood kids laughed and splashed in its flow.
As Sydney's clothes began to dry in the torrid sun, the water rushed along the curb like a river. It streamed between Sydney's toes and sent goose bumps creeping up to her knees.
Sydney lived in the middle of a row of brick houses. The two-story houses were connected so they looked like one long building. The only windows were in the front and the back. The houses were close to the street, and each had a narrow front porch with three steps leading to a tiny front yard and the sidewalk.
The screen door on Sydney's house swung open, and her mom stepped outside. "Sydney, have you seen your Aunt Dee yet?" Her curly black hair was pulled back with a blue band to keep it off of her face.
"No, Mom," Sydney answered. "I ran past the Metro station looking for her, but she wasn't there."
"Well, when she gets here, you two come inside. Dinner's ready."
Sydney dipped her fingers into the water and splashed some onto her long, thin arms.
"Don't you want to come in by the air-conditioning?" Her mother fanned herself with a magazine. "Aren't you hot in the sunshine?"
"No, Mom," Sydney answered. She didn't think it was necessary to tell her mom about her little brush with the explosion of water.
The cell phone in the pocket of her pink shorts buzzed. Sydney took it out and found a text message from one of her best friends, Elizabeth Anderson. It said: Almost Packed.
Sydney tapped a reply on her keypad: Can't w8 til u get here.
Sydney and Elizabeth had met at Discovery Lake Camp, and although Elizabeth lived in Texas, they talked every day. Four other girls had been with Sydney and Elizabeth in Cabin 12B. They were Bailey Chang, Alexis Howell, McKenzie Phillips, and Kate Oliver. When camp ended, Kate set up a website so the girls could stay in touch. It was password protected, so it was like their own secret cabin in cyberspace. They'd all bought webcams with babysitting money, chore payments, and allowances so they could see each other and talk online. The Camp Club Girls — as they liked to be called — made webcam calls, sent IMs, and frequently met in their own private chat rooms.
Sydney continued typing her message: Will pic u up @ I aport @ 4 2moro.
"Sydney, I really wish you'd come inside." Sydney's mother crossed her arms.
"Okay, in a few minutes, Mother!" Sydney said without looking up.
The screen door slammed shut.
This was the worst heat wave Washington, DC, had seen in twenty-five years. Everyone had air conditioners blasting. The energy load was way too much, and the night before, the power had gone out. Sydney hated being in total darkness. She was relieved that today seemed normal.
Pack shorts, she typed. Really hot here!
While she sat texting, Sydney heard the thump, thump, thump of music getting closer and closer. A green jeep raced around the corner, and the booming bass from its stereo echoed inside Sydney's chest. In the passenger seat, Aunt Dee held on to her tan park ranger hat to keep it from flying off of her head. The jeep screeched to a halt in front of Sydney's house, and her aunt hopped out.
"Thanks for the ride, Ben!" she yelled over the music. "See you tomorrow."
The young driver waved and drove off.
Gotta go, Beth, Sydney wrote. Ant D's Home.
Sydney stood and wiped her feet on the grass. "You're late again," she said. "Mom's mad."
"I know," Aunt Dee apologized. "There was trouble at the Wall." She took off her ranger hat and perched it on Sydney's head. Aunt Dee always blamed her lateness on her job at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Sydney didn't understand how she could be so enthusiastic about a long black wall with a bunch of names carved onto it.
"So what was the trouble?" Sydney asked.
"I'll tell you at dinner," said Aunt Dee. She linked her arm through Sydney's. "It's hot out here, girlfriend. Let's go inside."
By the time Sydney washed and sat at her place at the table, Mom and Aunt Dee were already eating. Sydney had learned at camp to pray before every meal. So she bowed her head and said out loud, "Dear Lord, make us truly grateful for this meal and for all the blessings of this day." She noticed that her mom and Aunt Dee stopped eating and bowed their heads too. "And please keep Dad safe," she said. Sydney always added a blessing for her dad, who was serving in the military overseas.
"Amen!" Mom and Aunt Dee chimed.
Sydney poured iced tea into her tall glass and scooped pasta salad onto her plate. "So what happened at the Wall?" she asked, reaching for a piece of French bread.
"Someone spray-painted the sidewalk last night," Aunt Dee replied. "Graffiti."
Sydney's mom got that look on her face — the one where her forehead turned into wrinkled plastic wrap. "You mean vandalism," she said. "I think it's just terrible what kids do these days —"
"How do you know it was kids?" Sydney interrupted. Her mouth was full of creamy macaroni. "Kids aren't the only ones who do bad stuff."
"Don't talk with your mouth full," said Aunt Dee.
"Most times it is," her mom argued. "Just look around our neighborhood." She waved her hand toward the kitchen window. "Vandalism everywhere! Who do you think did all that? Not the adults. The kids don't care about our community. Do they care that this neighborhood used to be a military camp to help slaves that escaped from the South? No! They just want to mess up the nice things that good folks worked so hard to build." Sydney's mother sighed and took a long drink of her iced tea.
Mrs. Lincoln worked at the local historical society, and she was very protective of the neighborhood and its landmarks. She liked to talk about how, in the old days, kids had manners and didn't do anything wrong. Sydney hated it that her mom blamed everything on the kids in the neighborhood.
"There are good kids too," Sydney argued. "You don't see my friends and me running around spray-painting everything. Give us some credit!" She looked at her plate and pushed the rest of her pasta salad into a neat little pile. "We care what happens."
"We don't know who did it," said Aunt Dee, trying to stop the argument. "Someone painted 'GO 64' in front of panel 30W — in orange paint. Ben and some other volunteers scrubbed it this morning. They'll work on it again tonight when the air cools off some. They're having a hard time cleaning it. Pass the bread, please."
"What does 'GO 64' mean?" Sydney asked, handing her the basket of bread.
"That's what we're trying to figure out," Aunt Dee answered. "We're wondering if the number 64 is a clue to who did it. Ben said that in some rap music, 64 means a 1964 Chevrolet Impala. Another volunteer plays chess and said 64 is the number of squares on a chessboard. We don't know what it means."
"Maybe it's Interstate 64," Sydney's mom suggested. "There's construction on that freeway and plenty of orange construction cones. Maybe the orange paint is to protest all that."
"But if it's about the freeway, or a car, or a chessboard, why would they complain by painting graffiti at the Vietnam Wall? Besides, Interstate 64 is in Virginia," Aunt Dee said.
"Yes, but there's some military bases out that way," Mother said. Then she added, "It's probably just kids."
The air-conditioning kicked in again, and a cool draft shot from the air vent, making the kitchen curtains flutter.
"The Wall's lighted at night," Sydney said. "And the park police keep an eye on all the monuments. So why didn't anyone see who did it?"
"The lights were out," Aunt Dee reminded her. "The whole city went dark for a while, and the park police were busy with that. That's when it happened, I'm sure. Anyway, it's a mess, and we have to clean it up fast. The TV stations are already making a big deal out of it." She dipped her knife into the butter container and slathered butter onto her French bread. "I had such an awful day at work. Everybody blamed everyone else for letting it happen. Like we would let it happen! People don't know how hard the Park Service works —"
"May I be excused?" Sydney asked, swallowing her last bite of pasta.
"You may," her mother answered.
Sydney put her dishes into the dishwasher. Then she went upstairs to her room.
The computer on Sydney's desk was on, and her screensaver cast an eerie blue glow on her yellow bedroom walls. Syd's bedroom had no windows, so it was always dark. That was the trouble with living in a row house. If your room was in the middle of the house, you had no windows. She flipped the switch on her desk light and tapped the spacebar on the computer. The monitor lit up, and Sydney noticed that McKenzie Phillips was online. She sent her an IM: Talk to me?
The phone icon on the computer screen jiggled back and forth. Sydney clicked on it, and McKenzie's freckled face appeared. She was sitting at the work island in her family's kitchen. "What's up?" she asked.
Sydney turned on her webcam. "Not much," she said. "I just finished dinner."
"Me too," McKenzie replied. "Well, almost." She held a slice of cheese pizza in front of her face so Sydney could see it. "We ate early because Dad and Evan have to drive some cattle to pasture. Then they want to practice for the rodeo this weekend." She pointed to the blue baseball cap on her head. Its yellow letters said SULFUR SPRINGS RODEO.
"I didn't want to hang out downstairs," Sydney told her. "Someone spray-painted graffiti by the Vietnam Wall last night, and Mom blamed it on kids again."
McKenzie took a bite out of her pizza. "I saw it on the news. Why did she blame it on kids? I mean, anyone could have done it."
"She blames everything on kids," Sydney answered. "I think it's because a lot of the kids around here get into trouble. I try to tell her that we're not all like that, but she doesn't listen. Lately she doesn't listen to anything I say."
"My mom's like that too," McKenzie said. "Nothing I do is ever right." Her face lit up. "Hey, the news said it was orange paint, right?"
"Yeah," Sydney said, fidgeting with her cornrows. "Orange graffiti that said 'GO 64.' So what?"
"So maybe it's some crazy nutcase with Agent Orange."
"Agent who?" Sydney asked.
"Agent Orange!" said McKenzie. "Agent Orange was a chemical they used in Vietnam. I read about it in school. It made some Vietnam soldiers really sick, and some even died. So maybe it wasn't a kid who wrote it. Maybe it's a guy who got Agent Orange, who's mad at the government and wants to get even. By the way, I can't see you well."
"You think too much," Sydney answered. She pulled her desk light closer to her computer and bent it toward her face. "They're trying to figure out what 'GO 64' means. My aunt and mom think it could be about some sort of car, or highway, or maybe even a chessboard —"
"A chessboard!" McKenzie screeched. "A person who plays chess won't spray-paint a national monument."
"I know," Sydney said. "Some gang member probably wrote it. Anyhow, I don't care. I don't want to talk about it anymore."
"I can see you fine now," McKenzie said, changing the subject. "So when is Elizabeth coming?"
"She and her Uncle Dan are flying in from Texas tomorrow," Sydney answered. "Aunt Dee and I are going to pick them up at the airport at four. We'll take her uncle to his hotel, and then Elizabeth will come here to stay with us."
"Can Elizabeth's Uncle Dan get around all by himself?" McKenzie asked. She twisted a strand of her shoulder-length hair around her fingers. "I mean, he's in a wheelchair and everything."
"As far as I know, he can," Sydney answered. "Elizabeth said he plays wheelchair basketball and competes in wheelchair races, so I suppose he gets around just fine by himself. I'm sure once he gets to the hotel, his Vietnam buddies will help him out if he needs help."
McKenzie reached for a gallon milk container on the kitchen counter. She poured herself a glass. "Well, at least you and Elizabeth don't have to hang around with him the whole time. He'll be busy with his reunion stuff, right?"
"Right," Sydney agreed. "We'll see him Monday at the Vietnam Wall. Aunt Dee wants to give him the tour, and she thinks that Elizabeth and I should be there. Otherwise, we're on our own." Sydney heard strange sounds coming from her computer speakers. "Is that mooing?" she asked.
"Can you hear it?" said McKenzie. "That's Olivia, our old milk cow. About this time every day, she wanders up to the kitchen window and talks to us. I'll move the camera, and you can see her."
McKenzie's face disappeared from the screen. Sydney watched her friend's bare feet move across the kitchen floor as she carried the webcam to the window. Then a big, black-and-white cow head appeared. Olivia stood chewing her cud and looking at Sydney with huge brown eyes.
"Earth to Mac! Earth to Mac!" Sydney called into her computer's microphone. "Come back, Mac!"
Sydney watched McKenzie's bare feet walk back to the computer. Then her face showed up on the screen.
"Isn't Olivia awesome?" she said. "You really should come to Montana, Syd. We have tons of animals. I know you'd love it, and we could ride horses and hike, just like we did at camp."
"Maybe I will someday," Sydney replied. "But right now, I'm signing off. I want to clean up my room before Elizabeth gets here from Texas. All of my junk is piled on the other bed. If I don't move it, she won't have a place to sleep."
"Okay then," McKenzie said. "I'll sign off too — and eat more pizza." She picked up the gooey slice from her plate and took another bite. "I'll talk to you tomorrow."
"See ya," Sydney answered, switching off her webcam.
Everything in her room looked neat except for the other twin bed. It was hardly ever used, so that was where Sydney stored most of her stuff. It held boxes filled with colorful papers and art materials, magazines, piles of clothes, and posters she planned to put up in her room. Sydney had so much stuff stored there that she didn't know what to do with it all. Under my bed, I guess, she thought.
Before long, the bed was cleaned. Sydney changed the sheets. Then she went to her closet and pulled out a new black-and-tan bedspread that matched her own. She threw it on top of the bed and tucked it neatly around the pillow.
"Sydney?" Aunt Dee stood in the doorway. She held a long white envelope. "This came for you."
The letter was from Elizabeth. Sydney tore open the flap and found a note taped to an information sheet.
Uncle Dan wanted me to send you this so your mom can keep track of him. Just in case of an emergency. It's his reunion schedule.
Sydney Lincoln read the heading on the sheet of paper. It said, "Annual Reunion — 64th Transportation Company, Vietnam."CHAPTER 2
Thunderstorms in Texas delayed Elizabeth's flight. By the time Aunt Dee, Sydney, and Elizabeth dropped Uncle Dan off at his hotel and got back to Sydney's house, it was almost midnight.
After the girls got ready for bed, Elizabeth handed Sydney a small package wrapped in polka-dot-covered paper. "I got this for you," she said.
Sydney grinned. She loved getting presents. Carefully she peeled the tape off the paper. Then she reached in and pulled out a square gray box. On the top of it, gold script letters spelled out His World, Amarillo, Texas. Sydney opened the lid and found a thick, coppery bangle bracelet. Etched all around it was a scripture verse: Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9. "This is so cool!" Sydney exclaimed. "Thank you, Beth." She slipped the bracelet over her left wrist.
"My uncle gave me a pendant with that scripture," Elizabeth said. She reached for the pendant on a long silver chain around her neck. Then she held it up so Sydney could see. "It has a special meaning."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Camp Club Girls Sydney"
Copyright © 2019 Barbour Publishing, Inc..
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Sydney's DC Discovery,
Sydney's Outer Banks Blast,
Sydney and the Wisconsin Whispering Woods,
Sydney and the Curious Cherokee Cabin,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My daughter and I have read four of the Camp Club Girls books so far. We have enjoyed every one. Occasionally we come across a story that isn't our favorite but for the most part, each story has been interesting and intriguing. Each of these books include four books in one, so it takes us a little longer to read, as we read a chapter or two each night before bed for our special time together. In this book the mystery surrounding the nation's capital and the Outer Banks were the most exciting ones and probably our favorites. I enjoyed the one about the nation's capital because there were "real" bad guys! Many times we learn things about history and places from the stories. Each one is a unique adventure. I highly recommend these books for girls in the tween and pre-teen ages. They are fun to read, and have great values and encouragement for girls to live godly lives. I received a copy of this book through netgalley to read with my daughter. I was not asked to review in a positive manner and all opinions are my own.
Thanks to #netgalley for letting me preview #campclubgirlssydney before my tween daughter reads this book. All Camp Club Girls are connected to each other and will be a great read for girls ages 9-13. Overall a great 4-in-1 Christian fiction collection - Book 1 relates to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC as well as Fort McHenry. Of all of the dozen Camp Club girl books that I previewed, I think this one was the most intense. I would not recommend it for girls younger than 10 as it directly deals with an attempted assassination. But it is a good book about the importance of not making assumptions. Book 2 is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This one is not intense at all, and I think it is almost amusing what ends up leaving the tracks in the sand. Is a strange creature lurking in the ocean depths? Sydney and Bailey get more than they bargained for on a visit to North Carolina, where they encounter baffling events on the beaches of the Outer Banks. Will the Camp Club Girls discover who—or what—is leaving the peculiar tracks in the sand? Book # 3 is set in northern Wisconsin and involves a lot of fishing. Plus a potential bear attack. It also deals with concept of forgiveness and taking revenge. Book # 4 was very fascinating since it dealt with North Carolina Cherokee before the "Trail of Tears." I tried to figure out if any of it was based on fact. The idea of the Cherokee having strong believers in their midst was definitely intriguing.