Thursday, May 23, 2019

Trend of 2019- Summer Camp!

Today is the last day with students, and I have spent my week getting the number of overdue books down to seven! (We started with 1,500+ books checked out!)

My policy is to not miss people, especially students. As with parenting, the whole point to teaching is to get the children to move on. I can't miss 250 students every year; how would I go on? But this year, the 8th grade boys are killing me.

By May, most 8th grade boys have become insufferable. They have to jump to hit the top of every doorway, constantly push each other in the hallway, and are MUCH taller than I am! This is still mostly true, but a variety of them have also made a point to stop by the library and tell me that they will miss me. This has got to stop.

It's not just my avid readers, who ask me if I can make a list of summer recommendations because they know their older brothers have struggled in high school. That's easy, even though I feel a need to make a list for the rest of their lives. It's also the massively tall 8th grade boy who transferred in and nearly failed every subject until I started checking his grades who writes me a barely legible thank you note. It's the classics-reading student who thought that C.S. Lewis was anti-Muslim who said "Next year, I think I will say to myself 'I should have talked to Ms. Yingling more.' " It's the basketball player who slam dunks his way into the library and says "Ms. Yingling, of all the things at Blendon, I think I will miss you most." And it's my quiet, introspective cross country runner who informed my that Read Tolkien day was being celebrated on the wrong day according to the Middle Earth calendar who gave me the mug pictured here that he picked out himself, along with a note that started with "Thank you for being the best school librarian anyone could ever hope for" and ended with "I will miss you".

Usually, it's my quiet little girls who read a book a day whom I have to teach to air-hug me. If my All Flavors of Geek 6th grade boy air hugs me for the end of the year and tilts his head to air-put it on my shoulder AGAIN (he's had a tough year, too), I will be a soggy mess for the rest of the day.

Chanting the word "brusque" as my mantra, but tucking a tissue into my pocket!

Malone, Lee Gjertsen. Camp Shady Crook
May 21st 2019 by Aladdin
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Archie is glad to be returning to Camp Shady Brook on a scholarship, because it is six weeks that he doesn't have to deal with his stepmother and twin half siblings, and time when he can manage to fleece the wealthy camp goers, since his name is the same as one of the richest men in the area. Vivian is not happy to be going to camp, since this is the first time she has not accompanied her travel agent parents on their summer tours, but an unfortunate incident at school caused them to send her somewhere more "constructive". Vivian thinks that she can con her campmates as well, and when Archie sees her doing this, he worries that it will cut into his territory, and tries to scare her off. It seems to work, and he continues his previous tricks, complete with the help of Oliver, a counselor-in-training who pretends to menace Archie but is actually his ally. When Vivian catches the two conspiring, she wants in, and they grudgingly let her run cons with them. Eventually, the two work up to a competition-- Vivian must con her cabin mate, Sasha, and Archie must con an unconnable kid. Both of their cons cause trouble that may negatively impact the camp, so they try the ultimate con-- to put Camp Shady Brook back into the leagues of respectable summer placements for children.
Strengths: I liked Archie right away, and his backstory was convincing. Vivian was less endearing, with her black leather boots at summer camp and an attitude to match, but she was a nice foil for Archie's preppy camouflage. The counselors were present and just goofy enough, and there was the requisite amount of standard activities, including friendship bracelets, the modern equivalent of lanyards.
Weaknesses: Miss Hess was an over the top villain, the camp seemed luxurious compared to ones I attended and yet was deemed horribly decrepit, and this got rather mean in the middle, before Archie and Vivian decide to mend their ways.
What I really think: There are so many camp books out right now that I am going to have to assess which ones will best fit my needs. My students do like books with cons, such as Rylander's The Fourth Stall and Schreiber's Con Academy, so this is a possibility.

Kalicky, Anne. Save Me! (My Life in Smiley #3)
June 4th 2019 by Accord Publishing, a division of Andrews McMeel
Copy provided by the publisher

It's official! If even the French are producing books about summer camp, it has to be a trend! This series has been so popular in my library that book two has gone missing-- most likely appropriated without consent. I'll have to replace it because one student has asked for it every week for months.

From Goodreads, since I am hideously behind:
"Max is in trouble, SOS trouble, he's a prisoner in the middle of nowhere. His journal is the conclusive evidence that the next two weeks at summer camp are going to be absolutely miserable . . . or not! His parents signed him up to give him some “independence,” but all it’s given him so far is bug bites! It's super hot, he's got no video games, no salt and vinegar chips, and—worst of all—no friends. He even has to pretend to have fun and participate in activities! But despite all that, his roomies are cool, this girl Clara is kinda pretty, and he found a mysterious diary. . . ."

I wasn't as wild about this one, since Max starts off hating the whole idea of summer camp. Negative thinking is just not my favorite thing!

1 comment:

  1. I hear you on those 8th grade boys. Had a big lumbering kid come back after the last day had ended yesterday. All he said was "Um, thanks for everything..." His voice trailed off and he was gone, but not before I saw him wipe his eyes on the way out. Thanks for the inspirational post.