The Class Trip from the Black Lagoon

The boy telling the story is going on a class trip. He remembers some other “class trips” from his history book. With his friends, he talks about some of the possibilities.

Then he goes to bed the night before. When he wakes up, the class rides the bus to an airfield where they take a plane and parachute into the jungle. But, wait a minute–is this all a dream or just something in his mind? They are actually going on a field trip to the zoo! This book is written in a madcap, zany style that is intended to appeal to early readers, which is not necessarily bad but has its limits of usefulness.

There is little objectionable (probably the worst thing is that one boy is pictured as pulling out a pair of his underwear to demonstrate that on the plane they will be seeing “a bunch of selected shorts” when asked about movies), and there is actually a little bit of useful information about the historical “field trips.” Books like this are usually recommended to get kids reading in the hope that they will then progress on to better books. Maybe, maybe not. I have known some children who get so stuck reading this sort of thing that really good literature seems boring to them. This is Book #1 in the “Black Lagoon Adventures,” with other books about The Music Teacher from the Black Lagoon, The School Bus Driver from the Black Lagoon, The School Nurse from the Black Lagoon, The Teacher from the Black Lagoon, The Custodian from the Black Lagoon, and the Principal from the Black Lagoon. They are probably relatively harmless, but I doubt that I could stand to read many more of them.

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