Weissman, Elissa Brent. Nerd Camp.
Nominated for the Cybils by Jennifer Donovan.
Gabe is excited about going to the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment camp, and also about getting a new stepbrother. His father is getting married,, and his new stepmother has a son who is Gabe's age. Zach is much cooler than Gabe, however, and Gabe's started to be concerned about what Zach will think of him. Once at camp, Gabe throws himself into the geeky fun with his roommates Nikhil and Wesley. They memorize Pi, deal with gross camp food, and put together an algorithm to predict when the camp Color Wars will start. Gabe's tries to prove to himself that he is NOT a geek, and tries to push himself to try new things. He also takes a bit of a shine to fellow camper Amanda. Gabe might feel that he is breaking out of the nerd mold, but will Zack think the same?
Strengths: This was a much stronger book than this author's first two(Standing for Socks and The Trouble with Mark Hopper). Characters are well drawn, incidents are amusing, and the story progresses nicely. Gabe is said to be ten, but this reads a bit older to me.
Weaknesses: Gabe's seems much too concerned about what Zach will think of him. The exchange of letters seemed slightly odd; even when my children went to camp a decade ago, they printed off emails for the campers!