It's only so that best friend Merle won't be miserably alone there that Abby pleads with her parents to send her to camp. She succeeds; then Merle breaks her ankle and can't go; and there is Abby, miserably alone with old girls who pick on her and a new one who's okay bat ""not on my wavelength."" Things get worse when Abby effectively loses everyone's lunch on an outing, and she suffers from the usual tortures of homesickness, poison ivy, and fear of diving--but when last year's pariah, a wisecracking unwanted kid named Roberta, shows up late, Abby's summer begins to pick up. O'Connor dearly remembers her own camp days, complete with silly songs, snooping on the counselor, letters home (short ones to parents, long ones to best friend), and the character of skit night. (Abby's successful monster-theme production is both a kid-sized idea and a believable hit.) Even if you've only read other camp stories you'll recognize the routines, right down to awards night and the corny farewell ceremony that chokes up even Roberta. But all that will count as a plus with O'Connor's polliwog-level camp-story audience.