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Children's Fiction Stepfamilies

Spoiled Rotten

by (author) Dayle Campbell Gaetz

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2005
Stepfamilies, Survival Stories, Siblings
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2005
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2005
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Jessica loves her yearly backpacking trip with her father, but this year everything has changed. This year Jessica has to share her vacation with her new stepmother and her spoiled new stepsister, Amy. Jessica tries to salvage her holiday by sneaking off for a day hike alone, but Amy follows. Jessica is certain that Amy will ruin the day. Amy rises to the challenge of the rigourous hike and Jessica learns that Amy is not as spoiled as she thought. When Amy is injured and night falls, Jessica must face the challenge of hiking through bear country in the dark.

About the author

Dayle Campbell Gaetz grew up in Victoria and attended the University of Victoria. She has always loved books, both reading and writing them. Her writing career began on Salt Spring Island where she wrote her first 16 novels. For several years she wrote a column for the local weekly newspaper and published the occasional article in children's magazines. Dayle now lives in Campbell River, British Columbia where, in addition to her own writing, she teaches a correspondence course on Writing for Children and Teenagers. She has published 21 books for readers from ages seven to 17. Never knowing what idea will strike next, Dayle writes books that range from science fiction to history and from biography to mystery.

Thanks to a strong interest in British Columbian history, she wrote two historical novels that take place in B.C.'s early days. On the heels of those books came Mystery From History and Barkerville Gold, both with historical connections. She had meant to end there, but the three young characters refused quit at Barkerville. They have since travelled on to Alberta, (Alberta Alibi) and recently into Saskatchewan (Something Suspicious in Saskatchewan). Manitoba is calling to them next and it seems wherever they go the children trip over mystery and tumble into danger.

Dayle's other books from Orca include Sea Dog (Currents), the story of two lonely people, a seven year old boy and an old man who are brought together by their love of one dog. At the other end of childhood is No Problem (Soundings), where a 17 year old boy stands on the brink of drug abuse. In between is an Orca Currents, Spoiled Rotten, about an outdoors-loving 14 year old girl who needs to deal with a new stepsister who really is spoiled rotten.

For more information about Dayle, visit

Dayle Campbell Gaetz's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice

Excerpt: Spoiled Rotten (by (author) Dayle Campbell Gaetz)

I landed heavily on the rough wood of the dock. Somehow I tripped over the rope in my hand and fell sideways. But I never let go of that rope. I scrambled to my feet and eased the boat against the dock. Dad stepped off to tie the stern rope while I tied the bow. I waited for him to say, "Nice work," or "Well done," or maybe, "Sorry I yelled at you," but he didn't even look my way. He patted the pockets of his shorts. "Anyone seen my wallet?" he asked.
Amy appeared from nowhere. "I'll get it, Dad," she said and disappeared into the cabin.
I stared after her. Dad? Since when was he her dad? This kid wanted everything that was mine.

Editorial Reviews

"The conclusion is dramatic, but not overly so, and the emotional resolution rings very true. Spoiled Rotten is an excellent, action-packed read that would work well for a reluctant reader. It takes its place alongside the other excellent titles in this series."

CM Magazine

Librarian Reviews

Spoiled Rotten (Orca Currents)

“Dad? Since when was he her dad? This kid wanted everything that was mine.” Jessica loves hiking trips with her father, until her new stepmother and stepsister have to come.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2006.

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