The summer camp book that I covered earlier this week wasn’t a great fit for me.
Looks like it’s time to take a look around and see what other camp books have cropped up over the last few years!Camp Dork, by Beth Vrabel
No Good Deed, by Goldy Moldavsky
There are, of course, plenty of books set at camps with quirky names—two examples being Vrabel’s Camp Paleo and Moldavsky’s Camp Save the World. Camp Paleo’s tagline is Live Like a Caveman, and involves learning about fossils and how to shoot arrows—basically, it sounds like my personal vision of Hell, but A) it takes all kinds and B) sometimes it’s fun to read about Hell. Camp Save the World is a camp for budding teen activists, and while Kirkus praised it for being laugh-out-loud funny, they also dinged it for overly-broad characterization.
The Names They Gave Us, by Emery Lord
How It Feels to Fly, by Kathryn Holmes
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland, by Rebekah Crane
And then there are the books set at camps for teens working through especially tough stuff: Lord’s Daybreak is for kids dealing with trauma; the camp in Holmes’ book—I couldn’t find a name, though one of the characters consistently refers to it as ‘Crazy Camp’—is specifically for teen performers and athletes who are struggling with various related issues; and Crane’s Camp Padua—I haven’t seen anything about whether or not it’s a Taming of the Shrew retelling, but fingers crossed!—is a place for at-risk teens. In all three cases, it sounds like the books are less about the camp experience and more about the characters exploring and working through their troubles, but camp is many things to many people, and ditto camp books.
Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined, by Danielle Younge-Ullman
The Trail, by Meika Hashimoto
While these aren’t set at traditional set-up-in-a-cabin-and-play-capture-the-flag camp, the subset of Wilderness Survival stories can’t be ignored. Younge-Ullman’s book is about a Canadian girl sent off on a three-week wilderness adventure in Northern Ontario; Hashimoto’s is about a boy trying to complete a partial hike of the Appalachian Trail on his own. Kirkus had some issues with both, but I’m going to pick them both up anyway: I’m a sucker for wilderness camp stories, and Hashimoto is a Maine author.
Look Both Ways, by Alison Cherry
When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon
And finally, we’ve got the speciality camps! Cherry’s book is set at a theater camp (theater camp stories are always fun because DRAMA), while Menon’s book is set at a summer academic program devoted to app development (oddly, summer academic program stories are ALSO always fun because DRAMA). Starred review on the Menon.
If you want to enjoy summer all year round, there is always—hopefully ALWAYS AND FOREVER, because I don’t even want to imagine a world without it—Lumberjanes. You can, OF COURSE, read it as it’s released in trade paperback form—but if you don’t want to wait, and if you want a little dose of sunshine every month, you can do what I do and read the issues as they’re published.
In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom and The Backlist, is currently serving on the Amelia Bloomer Project committee, is a contributor at Book Riot, hangs out on Twitter a lot—possibly too much—and watches a shocking amount of television. Her cat is a murderer.