Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 168
Themes: only children, overprotective parents, friendship, compassion
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/10/2011
Bookmark and Share
Oliver has helicopter parents—they love him, but they seriously cramp his style. He decides to fill an old wooden box with souvenirs from some of his outrageous and daring exploits. That way, he'll never forget the zombies, the killer dogs and the crazy cows, and his parents will never know that he once jumped from a bridge with the police in hot pursuit. But the biggest shock comes when Oliver realizes that the most terrifying things of all can't be controlled or contained.

Eastern New Jersey Regional Library Cooperative - September 1, 2012
"An enjoyable read, especially for boys, who enjoy realistic adventures."
Canadian Children's Book News - April 1, 2012
"Oliver is a well-drawn character whose pragmatic attitude, honesty and humour are endearing, and who quickly overcomes the reader's initial impression of selfishness...With a facetious warning to read at your own risk, this well-written novel is a fast-paced, quirky experience that touches poignantly upon more serious issues. It will capture children's attention from the start, combining as it does adventure, humour and just a little coming of age."
KeenReaders.org - January 3, 2012
"[Oliver is] an enthusiastic, realistic, and funny protagonist. His adventures come in different forms and it never gets boring to read about what his next challenge will be...Box of Shocks is an excellent realistic novel for kids of both genders between the ages of 9 to 13, and is highly recommended."
School Library Journal - January 1, 2012
"A touching story of personal growth, gratitude, and kindness, this book will serve as an excellent discussion starter."
Booklist - December 1, 2011
"Oliver's effective first-person narration shifts from accounts of his adventures to a growing understanding about the complicated lives of others—lives that are, often times, more shocking than anything that can be contained in a box."
Resource Links - December 1, 2011
"A fantastic read for any boy or girl, mid-readers will find themselves jumping into Ollie's shoes for this fantastic, nail-biting and mind-boggling adventure."
CM Magazine - September 9, 2011
"The settings where daring young Oliver carries out his secret adventures and collects his shocks (souvenirs to remember the experience) are vivid...A memorable story, full of age-appropriate jokes and sayings, and a plot that moves along quickly enough to hook even the most reluctant reader. Highly Recommended."
Kirkus Reviews - August 31, 2011
"A light and capable read."


Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2011 | Commended
Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award  | 2013 | Winner
CCBC Best Books  | 2012 | Commended

Ebooks available from the following retailers:

Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience. Please visit our Teacher Resources website to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Classroom Projects

Readers Theater Scripts

Teachers' Guides

Resource Guides

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels

Reaching Reluctant Readers:

Best Books for Struggling Readers


Reading Strategies

You might also be interested in: