Attending camp, especially an academic enrichment camp, turns out to be more than notorious slacker Charlie Joe Jackson bargained for.
Picking up where he left off in Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Extra Credit (2012), Charlie knows he is in for a miserable time at camp. The water sports and basketball courts are not enough to take the sting out of singing the camp song, “Learning to Love, and Loving to Learn,” or the horror of spending whole days with book geeks, reading and writing. Told in Charlie Joe’s sarcastic voice, interspersed with letters home to maybe-girlfriend Zoe and others, the tale moves along at breakneck speed. In the first week, the visiting jocks from a neighboring camp come for their yearly romp to find that Charlie Joe has some tricks up his sleeve. When Charlie Joe joins the newspaper staff in the second week, his interpretation of a Lech Walesa biography leads the campers to strike. In the last week, he helps a fellow camper handle a cheating dilemma. Underlying all the action are the inevitable but sweet changes that happen to middle school nerds when they discover the opposite sex. Fans of Joey Pigza and Big Nate will find a lot to love here. Charlie is no longer a caricature but a fully fleshed-out, likable young man.
A series that improves with each offering. (Fiction. 9-14)