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Lessons I had to learn the hard way!

Cameron Stelzer Author Interview

SOS Champion Captain follows the school’s most competitive student as she has to learn how to work in a group and the value of teamwork. What was the inspiration for your story?

I remember being in the final year of elementary school. Just like Nora I was fortunate to be elected school captain. During rehearsals for our end of year play I ran out of patience with some of the students who weren’t taking their parts seriously. My frustration didn’t help the situation. In fact, the students became less willing to cooperate. The lessons Nora learns in SOS Champion Captain were the lessons I had to learn the hard way! I hoped the story would help the perfectionists and high achievers and who struggle to work with others. Kindness and humility can go a long way when it comes to being a great captain.

Nora wants to win every completion but struggles with working with others. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Nora Nibblesworth shares many character traits with my eldest daughter, including her competitive streak and the desire to be in control. Yes, she inherited this from me! Nora has previously starred in my Scallywags series, but this was the first time I wrote her at the main character in a story. I thought it was good for readers to see some of the character flaws that come with such a driven individual. My daughter even suggested some of Nora’s lines. Nora’s teammates were partly inspired by my other daughters (who love hots chips) and are a little more relaxed when it comes to completing projects.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Teamwork, diversity, and the respect of classmates’ opinions were central to this story. Nora learns the hard way that she can’t always have her way, and that to succeed she needs to rely on her friends.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

After completing the ten books in the SOS series I am working on several adventure novels in my Pie Rats series. The first will be called Traitor’s Tail. The release date will be late 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Instagram | Facebook | Website

When Nora Nibblesworth sees the poster for the model ship competition, she knows she can win first prize. But when it becomes a group project, everything starts going wrong! Can Nora get along with her teammates or will their entry end up as one big mess?
Welcome to the School of Scallywags, a boarding school for young pirates. At SOS, students live at school during the term and go home for the holidays. Each night is one big sleepover with their friends! Each new day is an adventure waiting to happen.
The students at SOS don’t always get things right. But with a little encouragement from their friends and teachers, they learn that even the biggest disasters can be turned around.
Each story in the SOS series focuses on a different student and explores the personal and social challenges they face. Themes for Champion Captain include demonstrating unity through tolerance and acceptance.
SOS stories are designed for developing readers in lower to middle primary school. Books in the series include both male and female protagonists. Each book has seven or eight short chapters with illustrations on every page. Readers can move up to the award-winning Scallywags series which feature the same characters in extended adventures.

SOS Champion Captain

There isn’t much Nora can’t do–and do well. She’s her school’s captain, and if there is a prize offered or medal to be won, she has claimed it for her own. So when she and her classmates find out about the newest competition to build a model pirate ship, she just knows this will be another easy win for her. However, Nora soon learns this is to be a group project, something she is not comfortable with, as she is not the one in control of everything. So will this be the one competition Nora actually can’t win? Or will she be able to pull it together for the sake of her group members?

SOS Champion Captain, by children’s author Cameron Stelzer, is one in a series of the School of Scallywags books. Nora, champion of virtually everything, is the main character and is in for a difficult lesson on how to treat others. She is used to being recognized as the best in all she does, and when things don’t go her way, and she loses her temper, the group project suffers. Nora must learn about acceptance, tolerance, and unity in order for her group to be able to finish building the pirate ship. This is a common issue for many children, they feel their worth is tied to their achievements. Learning teamwork is hard and this entertaining book teaches kids the value of working together.

My third graders are going to love this book–our class theme is pirates, and Nora and her crew fit right in! I love that Nora and the other characters struggle with some of the same issues as my students–the strong love of hot chips and the stress of group projects. Stelzer’s characters are undoubtedly relatable for young readers, and the fantasy setting of the School of Scallywags is sure to draw readers in from the first pages.

SOS Champion Captain is a captivating children’s book for those kids in the second to fifth-grade reading levels. Nora and the other members of the School of Scallywags will delight readers with their relatable feelings and life lessons. This book will make a great addition to both school and classroom libraries.

Pages: 98 | ISBN : 0645133132

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