Attention, Summer Campers!
Summertime. To me, it used to mean long days at the pool, drippy ice cream cones with sprinkles, and riding my bike up and down the street with my BFF, Nicole. Oh yeah, and one 4th grade summer — after begging, pleading, and bargaining with my mom — I went to gymnastics camp. Finally! It was going to be going to my very first sleepaway camp. With one condition — my mom was a chaperone. Ahh, yes. Well, that’s a story for another time . . .
Anyhow, in this great new series I recently discovered, Camp Confidential by Melissa J. Morgan, I got to flashback to my days at gymnastics camp. But this time, the stories are totally better!
I just finished the first book, Natalie’s Dilemma (which you can read online right here!). In it, Natalie is an 11 year-old NYC city chick who is more interested in fresh sushi than fresh air. She can’t believe her mom has sentenced her to Camp Lakeview (aka Camp Lake-Puke) in the middle of nowhere, where she has to exist alongside disgusting bugs, not to mention clean toilets as a daily chore. (Yech!) However, she meets some pretty cool girls and has some equally cool experiences, really bonding with her bunkmates. But then we find out she has a secret she’s been hiding from everyone.
SPOILER ALERT: Close your eyes and skip down to the spoiler-free zone if you don’t want to know Natalie’s secret!
It turns out her dad is a famous Hollywood action-movie star! (Hello — not the worst secret in the world!)
SPOILER-FREE ZONE RESUMES HERE: I really liked this book, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Each book (there are 20) is told from a different character’s point of view. So Book #1 is about Natalie, #2 is about Jenna, #3 is about Grace, and so on. It kind of reminds me of The Baby-sitters Club series (by Ann M. Martin), how they rotate characters throughout the books. It also reminds me of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (a YA series by Ann Brashares), because the girls go their separate ways during the school year, but always come back together at camp.
Some of the online reviews had me laughing too. I especially liked:
“this book rocks my socks!“
“OMG I totally luved this book so much. Best series ever!“
Have you read this series? If so, let me know what you think. Also — I’m dying to hear any juicy camp stories! Are you going to summer camp this year? What’s been your worst camp experience ever? What are the most popular types of summer camp? And what’s your DREAM summer camp? (Not sure about that last one: check out this summer camp personality quiz on our Allie Finkle site!)
Happy camping! (Okay, I’ll stop now.)
— Ratha, STACKS Writer