Teenage activism goes absurdist in this summer-camp novel.
When he met his hero Robert Drill, a Mark Zuckerberg–esque figure, then-13-year-old Gregor was inspired by Drill’s words: “You could feed the children of the world someday.” Now 16, when he finds out Drill is sponsoring a summer camp for teen activists, he leaps at the chance to attend—even if the presence of white teen movie star Ashley Woodstone doesn’t really fit with Gregor’s idea of Camp Save the World. Among the campers, most of them belittlingly called by their causes instead of their names, Gregor tries to become a better activist. It’s hard, though: Men’s Rights keeps throwing money at Gregor for his campaign and calling him white, even though Gregor is half-Mexican. The girl Gregor likes seems too cool for him and possibly gay. And worst of all, Ashley is just…everywhere. Yet as Gregor becomes friends with Ashley, looking beyond her kooky Eat Dirt campaign, he discovers a girl who could become more than his friend. Will he mess it all up, though, as the campers become caught up in a competition to win an internship with Drill and Gregor learns more about his hero? Aiming barbs at the seemingly infinite array of causes among today’s social justice warriors, Moldavsky’s satire is both funny and foulmouthed, but the broadly painted characters and not-nearly-wacky-enough plot keep it earthbound.
A comedy that is more mousy brown than black. (Fiction. 14-16)