Saturday, May 14, 2022

Camp Famous

Blecher, Jennifer. Camp Famous
May 10th 2022 by Greenwillow Books
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Abby is finishing up fifth grade, and has had trouble fitting in with the other girls. When one incident on the playground ends with her crying in front of her favorite teacher, Ms. McIntyre. Even though one girl, Marin, tries to be nice to her, she frequently is picked on by Quinn. Abby occasionally can avoid the girls, and her parents send her to her grandmother for her birthday, so she doesn't have to be embarrassed when no one comes to her party, but she longs to have a best friend. She's asked to go to summer camp for a long time, but her parents always say it is too expensive. After the incident on the playground, her parents have a meeting with Ms. McIntyre that seems suspicious; no one has a parent meeting just to hear that their student is doing well. Soon, she learns that she is going to Camp Summerah, which Ms. McIntyre's brother runs. It's pretty posh, and Abby is soon on a plane to the camp, which she learns at the last minute is actually a camp for famous children who want to have ordinary lives for a change. One of her classmates, Oliver, is actually a famous reporter on children's issues, and after talking to him, Abby decides that she will pretend to be a famous writer of children's books in order to fit in better. Mr. McIntyre started the camp because he was a child star himself. Abby is in a cabin with Bells, who is a princess, Hazel, whose mother makes money taking pictures of Hazel and blogging about her life, Shira, who is a brilliant mathematical mind, and Willa, who is a ballet dancer who doesn't even want to be at the camp. There are other famous kids as well, including singer Kai Carter, who is very popular at Abby's school. Abby gets along well with the girls in her cabin, and she and Bella becomes especially good friends. She has a pleasant relationship with Kai, and enjoys all the sleep away camp activities. When she makes the other girls angry, she asks to leave camp, and goes to stay with her grandmother. Will Abby ever learn to make and keep good friends?
Strengths: Abby's desire to have a good friends and to fit in with her peers is a universal one, and the chance to reinvent herself in a different setting is something young readers will enjoy reading about. I appreciated the fact that Marin was generally nice to Abby, but influenced by Quinn to be mean. Celebrity always has a certain appeal to young readers, so Abby's opportunity to rub elbows with the famous and influential is appealing wish fulfillment. There are lots of great details about activities at camp, and a realistic amount of tension and friend drama. This would make a fantastic beach read for a lot of tweens!
Weaknesses: It seemed odd that the camp would allowe her to leave and fly her to her grandmother's, but then, it is a camp for children used to getting their way. 
What I really think: I really enjoyed this one, and it's a great camp book to add to titles like 
Rhuday-Perkovich's It Doesn't Take a Genius, Sloan and Wolitzer's To Night Owl from Dogfish, Palma's The Popularity Pact: Camp Clique: Book One and Tan's Summer at Meadow Wood.

1 comment:

  1. Good review. It always annoys me too when things seem inconsistent in a book. But as one who is writing MG fiction, it's hard to keep everything in order!