Phil and the Ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca – John Luke Robertson and Travis Thrasher

Phil and the Ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca Travis Thrasher John Luke Robertson
Phil & the Ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-CA by John Luke Robertson, Travis Thrasher
Series: Be Your Own Duck Commander #2
Published by Tyndale on October 1, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Children's
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three-half-stars

In this four-book juvenile fiction series featuring the popular Robertson family of Duck Commander and written by Phil's grandson John Luke Robertson (with Travis Thrasher), readers are invited to participate in the zany fun of the Duck Commander world. After a few chapters, readers can choose to go down different paths--all filled with humor and life lessons.

In this volume, camp-goers at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca have seen mysterious things in the middle of the night. The camp brings in Phil Robertson and his grandson John Luke to investigate the strange happenings. This adventure allows the reader to be Phil while checking out the mystery. Is there really a ghost behind the spooky sights and sounds? Or could it be something far different? Follow the trail of clues to try to find the answer. But avoid making the wrong choices and ending up in trouble!

If you own a television and likely even if you don’t, you are aware of Duck Dynasty. God, family, ducks, beards, and Bibles—not necessarily in that order. In the past couple of years, they have gone from famous within the duck hunting world to just in general all-around famous. As they’ve continued to expand their dynasty, it’s naturally overflowed into the world of books.

And though they’ve penned numerous books, none are as goofy or off-the-wall as John Luke Robertson and Travis Thrasher’s series of  Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style novels that put you right into the beards of your favorite Duck Commander.

In Phil and the Ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca, you get into the hunting boots of the patriarch himself: Phil Robertson. Your problem? There are mysterious goings-on at the local Christian camp and you—and John Luke—have been asked to investigate. Is it a ghost? Is it giant spiders? Is it a swamp monster? Is it something else? It could be all that and more, depending on what decisions you make.

The whole book is hilarious and very tongue-in-cheek. Thrasher sneaks in some cultural references that most of the middle grade to middle school readers probably won’t get (but I chuckled at) and John Luke throws in cultural references they will (as well as a lot of show in-jokes.) It’s not meant to be taken seriously and manages to poke fun at itself even as it sets up some goofily tense moments.

There are a number of endings…even after several readings, I’m not entirely sure I managed to get through them all. Especially for young readers, this series will provide entertainment for hours on end.

three-half-stars

About Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with as Author Relations Manager allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be invaluable with varied writing projects in the decade he’s been a full-time writer.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. Publishers Weekly said “Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre” when reviewing his first novel, The Promise Remains. They also stated “Thrasher demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre” in a review for Isolation years later. His readers have enjoyed the unpredictability of his novels, whether it’s due to a unique style such as second person or a twist they never saw coming.

Thrasher’s storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from musicians like country musician Scotty McCreery and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. He has also penned novels based on songs such as Paper Angels with Jimmy Wayne and novelizations for films including Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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