Great Lakes, Great Reads & Oregon Reader’s Choice Awards!

Pretty excited that My Near Death Adventures (99% True!) is included in two state lists for classrooms and libraries. To be honest, I’m just thrilled to see my name next to such wonderful writers!

The Michigan Reading Association has a great resource for their Great Lakes Great Books Program which you can find here. 


The Oregon Library Association/Oregon Association of School Libraries has just released the nominees for their ORCA awards, and those books are listed here.




Signings, Appearances, and Events

2017 Events


14 – Local Author Fair, Petoskey Public Library (4 – 5 pm)


16 – Charlevoix Elementary School, school visit

9- Release of FUNNY GIRL, a collection of the funniest stories ever by the funniest girls ever. And one boy. Be sure to order a signed copy from Between the Covers bookstore in Harbor Springs (231-526-6658) or any fine independent bookseller.


29 – SCBWI-Michigan Marketing Bootcamp, MSU Innovation Center, Michigan State University, E. Lansing (8 am registration)

27 – Boyne City Middle School, school visit

13 – Mancelona Young Authors’ Conference, Shanty Creek


14 – Lake Orion Battle of the Books Awards Ceremony! (6 pm)

bob battle

11 – 12 Michigan Reading Association 61st Annual Conference Breakout Speaker, “History in the Making: Making Historical Fiction Alive for Kids.”


2016 Events


3 – Local Author Fair, Orion Township Public Library (1 – 4)


17 – Lake Superior State University Visiting Writer Series (3 pm, Cisler Center), Master Class. “Writing the Middle Grade Novel: Big Questions for Young Audiences.”

19 – Superior Children’s Book Festival (11 – 3 pm), Campus of Lake Superior State University


1 – Harbor Springs Festival of the Book (1 pm) – Panel, “Middle Grade Fiction: Life’s Big Questions,” with Dan Gemeinhart and Tricia Springstubb


30 – October 2 Harbor Springs Festival of the Book – 5th Grade School Visit


2 – Between the Covers Event – Open Forum on Publishing, Harbor Springs (7 pm)

11 – The Tim Nixon Show

15 – Local Author Fair – Petoskey Public Library (3 pm)

18 – Munising School Public Library (1 pm)

18 – Manistique School-Public Library (6 pm)

23 – St. Ignace Library (7 pm)



13 & 14 – Michigan Reading Association Summer Literature Conference, Shanty Creek, Bellaire, MI

23 – Horizon Books, Traverse City, MI

27 – Cottage Books, Glen Arbor, MI


6 – Michigan Small and Rural Libraries Conference, The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

19 – Engadine Schools


20 – Swan Valley, Saginaw – school visit

21 – Michelle Gorney’s 3rd Grade Class, Shay Elementary, Harbor Springs, MI


4 – Liz Dunn’s 3rd Grade Class, Shay Elementary, Harbor Springs, MI

8 – Addams Elementary, Royal Oak, MI

15 – Thomas M. Ryan Intermediate School, Richland, MI, Battle of the Books

29 – Vanderbilt, MI – school visit


28 – Tracy Hunt’s 3rd Grade Class, Shay Elementary, Harbor Springs, MI

2015 Events


24 – Release of MY NEAR-DEATH ADVENTURES (99% True!)

25 – Launch Party, Between the Covers bookstore, Harbor Springs, MI

28 – Horizon Books, Traverse City, MI 2pm to 4pm


7 – Horizon Books in Petoskey, MI 1pm to 4pm

10 – Petoskey Middle School, Writing Workshop @ 9:40

12 – Sheridan Elementary (Petoskey) – Writing Workshop @ 9:30

12 – Central Elementary (Petoskey) – Author visit @ 12:30

17 & 18 – Gaylord Intermediate School – all day

17 – Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord, MI from 3:30 to 5:30 pm

19 – St. Francis (Petoskey) – Author visit @ 10:00

24 – Charlevoix – Author visit @ 9:15


7 – Shay Elementary (Harbor Springs) – Presentation (grades 3 – 5)

13 – Ottawa Elementary (Petoskey) – all school presentation, 3rd grade Writing Workshop


24 – Mackinaw Library Michigan Author Open House – Wednesday, June 24 from 3:30 – 6pm

26 – Horizon Books (Traverse City) with Kate Bassett and Caitlin Horrocks from 4 – 6pm


3 – McLean & Eakin Booksellers (Petoskey) – 2 – 4pm

15 – The Cottage Book Shop (Glen Arbor) – 11am

18 – Brilliant Books (Traverse City) – TBA

20 – Between the Covers (Harbor Springs) with Kate Bassett – Curious what it takes to publish a book? The ins and outs of the industry? What it took for us to find an agent? The process from writing a first draft to a published book? We’ll answer all these questions and more! Call the bookstore at 231-526-6658 to register for this FREE event.  7pm



18 – School visits: Lake Ann 9:30, Crystal Lake 11:00, Betsie Valley 1:20, Platte River 2:45

18 – Darcy Library of Beulah, Off the Page Writers Series – 7pm


Michigan Notable Books for 2016

I’m so excited to have had MY NEAR-DEATH ADVENTURES (99% True!) chosen by the Library of Michigan as a Michigan Notable Book for 2016. Check out the list here.

References and Research

I certainly did not grow up automatically knowing everything about lumber camps and lumberjacks. I knew about Paul Bunyan but that was mainly because there’s a large statue of him and Babe his blue ox just outside of the town where I grew up. (). But Paul Bunyan wasn’t much of a legend at the end of the 1800s, so I had to do research. Lots and lots of research. And I found out lumberjacks were originally called shanty boys, the crosscut had a big impact on lumbering and that alcohol was not allowed at camp nor was talking during dinner.

And I learned so much more. If you’re interested in learning more, check out these books:

Lumberjack by William S. Crowe
There’s Daylight in the Swamps by Mert Cowley
Deep Woods Frontier by Theodore J. Karamanski
Waiting for the Morning Train: An American Boyhood by Bruce Catton

In Other News…

National Writers Series interview with Cymbre Foster can be found here.

And Janis Campbell interviewed me for Yak’s Corner (a great resource for educators!).


decamp launch 2


The ABA website has such a great report about the launch party Katie Capaldi at Between the Covers in Harbor Springs threw for me.

My hometown paper, The St. Ignace News, has a really nice article. It includes my dad, which is always a bonus.

My local paper has my favorite interview with my favorite interviewer, Emily Meier (don’t tell anyone else).



Reviews for My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!)

A Fuse 8 Production (an SLJ blog): “Hilarious and heartbreaking and funny funny funny.” I love this review from Elizabeth Bird. She reads more books in a week than I do in a year and really understood what I was trying to achieve with MY NEAR-DEATH ADVENTURES.

Kirkus: “A knee-slapper of a debut featuring a narrator who is rather less than 99 percent reliable but 100 percent engaging. (Historical fiction. 10-12)” Check out the entire review here.

The School Library Journal review: DECAMP, Alison. My Near-Death Adventures. 272p. Crown. Feb. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385390446; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780385390453.

Gr 4-6 –Stan, the protagonist of DeCamp’s lively and folksy debut novel, lives with his mother in Michigan in the late 1800s when a mysterious envelope arrives that changes their lives. Eleven-year-old Stan (who is literally counting the days until he turns twelve) has always assumed that his “long-lost father” is dead, but with the arrival of the envelope–and Stan’s grandmother–he learns that his father is alive. Stan’s “near-death” adventures begin when he travels to his uncle’s logging camp where his mother and grandmother will cook for “real lumberjacks.” With his cousin Geri (older than Stan by “twenty-three months and three days”) as his guide, Stan navigates life with a group of colorful characters, using vivid language to describe the loggers and his campaign for his mother’s permission to participate in the annual logrolling event. While Stan helps with chores, forms friendships with the loggers, and feels uneasy about the interest several men express in his mother, his rich imagination finds an outlet in the scrapbook he fills with magazine ads and clippings, copies of which are scattered throughout the novel. More poignant is the life Stan imagines his father having while waiting for his young son to find him. “I imagine he’s out in the world doing something amazing, like mining gold or riding through the Wild West on horseback,” Stan thinks. A secondary plot about Geri’s interest in becoming a doctor enriches the story. Stan is a likable character with an exaggerated view of his abilities and a good heart. DeCamp’s novel is a solid choice for fans of Rodman Philbrick’s The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg (Scholastic, 2009).–Shelley Sommer, Inly School, Scituate, MA

Publishers Weekly‘s review:

Set in 1895 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, DeCamp’s exuberant first novel introduces 11-year-old Stan Slater who, readers quickly come to realize, is unknowingly vocalizing some of his rambling thoughts and wild imaginings, saying aloud things better kept to himself. Once readers acclimate to this narrative quirk, they’ll easily become invested in Stan’s story, which begins with him learning that the father he thought was dead is actually just a deadbeat. (Stan, however, remains “pretty sure he’s a rich cowboy or exploring the wilds of North Pole, unable to contact us because of life-or-death matters.”) Because of the family’s precarious financial situation, Stan, his mother, and his acerbic Granny move to a remote logging camp, where Stan becomes convinced a lumberjack named Stinky Pete is a “cold-blooded killer,” clashes with his cousin Geraldine, and is intensely displeased by his mother’s suitors. Vintage images with irreverent captions (ostensibly taken from Stan’s scrapbook) and imagined letters from Stan’s absent father pepper the pages, adding another layer of comedy to Stan’s freewheeling narration. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Feb.)

San Francisco Book Review by Rosi Hollinbeck:

“Alison DeCamp has written a very funny book that will keep young readers engaged and turning pages.” Read the full review here. And check out Rosi’s blog, The Write Stuff.


Get Your Personalized Copies!

You can order the book at my local indie bookstore, Between the Covers (where I may just be a part-time employee) and have it signed or personalized by calling 231-526-6658, contacting the store via its Facebook page or emailing katie AT btcbookshs DOT com (symbols removed to spare Katie from spam).