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Camp Hardcover – June 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-8-Sent off in the summer of 1962 to Camp Takawanda, Amy Becker, 14, misses her autistic younger brother, Charlie, and her father, but not her carping German-immigrant mother, Sonia. Life at camp takes its toll when Amy becomes the target of bunkmate Rory's bullying. With lax adult supervision and Amy's inability to speak up for herself, Rory and her followers gain the power to intimidate Amy and rudely challenge counselors. On family visiting day, after Rory ingratiates herself to ingenuous Sonia and terrifies Charlie with a barking dog, Amy and her two friends decide to fight back and hope that Amy's Uncle Ed, owner of the camp, will send Rory home. To her credit, Amy attracts the attention of Andy from a nearby boys' camp and becomes an accomplished tennis player. Details of life in the early '60s add dimension to a plot that is rife with secrets about Rory, Uncle Ed, Sonia, and Amy's cousin Robin. Resolution comes in a melodramatic rush involving Amy's stealthy search through her mother's papers, Charlie's death after being hit by Sonia's car, a relocation to Connecticut, and Sonia's struggle with cancer, when she finally reveals to Amy details of her sad past. In a story told in retrospect as she is about to head to college, Amy is able to forgive her once-secretive mother.-Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Lousy camp experiences are as plentiful as mosquitoes. So there should no shortage of takers for this look at a 14-year-old girl’s hellish eight weeks at Camp Takawanda for Girls. Ostracized Amy feels like she can trace her problems to the moment she boarded the bus: she was the only one wearing the stupid camp uniform, and her autistic brother, Charlie, made a scene. Soon cruel Rory and her posse of mean girls strip Amy naked in front of boys on a beach and throw her into the water. It’s frustrating for the reader—yet still believable—that Amy doesn’t manage to get help, and so Rory continues to humiliate and threaten Amy at every turn. Fake cheery letters back home to Charlie make her travails all the more painful, until she breaks through into vengeance: “Camp was a jungle; I’d play by the law. Eat or be eaten.” Despite some overly monomaniacal characters and excess incidents, the salacious material, heavy on the sexual harassment, is tough to stop reading and, in general, rings sadly true. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sky Pony Press; 1 edition (June 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616086572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616086572
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,219,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Known as "the anti-bullying novelist," I write about what really goes on behind the closed gates and doors of our camps and schools. The issues I explore in CAMP and DANNY'S MOM are those I am passionate about and know well.

I was a camper and camp counselor for many summers. When I entered "the real world," I taught in public schools in California and New York -- and then I became a district language arts chairperson. One of my greatest joys was getting wonderful books into the hands of students, teachers, and parents. In the time before Kindles, iPads, and Nooks, I spent countless hours stocking shelves with "good reads." Now I'm thrilled that my novels, CAMP and DANNY'S MOM, are on those shelves.

My husband and I raised our children on Long Island, where in addition to teaching I was a co-facilitator of an adult writers' workshop. Now we live in Northampton, Massachusetts, a community brimming with readers, writers, artists, and musicians. Shortly after moving here, I won a prize for short fiction (the perfect welcome for me).

I feel as if I'm finally home.

Please visit me online at www.authorelainewolf.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Uniquely Moi Books on May 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
You know when you come across one of those books that really makes you stop and think about not only your life, but the way the world is? A book that grabs you and shakes you down to your core. Shakes hard. It's rare, unique, and to be treasured. That is exactly what I found in Camp.
When I first decided to review Camp, I figured it would be some fluffy book about a mother/daughter adventure and a big bonding experience. What I found was far from that. Camp doesn't skim on issues at hand, but rips deeply into them, revealing how bad bullying can get. I know we have all had our share, but not like this. And certainly not having to deal with all of the numerous issues Amy Becker has on her plate.
Amy and her mother have never gotten along. It isn't some trivial topic at hand, but an underlying issue that seems as though her mother truly hates her. If it isn't hard enough dealing with a mother who despises her, she also had to deal with the motherly role of taking care of her autistic eight year-old brother Charlie. This is not the life that a fourteen year old should be living. Her father understood this and signed her up for summer camp, hoping that she would enjoy some time away. Truth is--if Amy never would've went to camp, the tragic events never would have taken place. It was all a series of events starting with the overbearing bullying that took place that summer. I never would've had the courage and strength of Amy. My heart broke for her repeatedly. My tears continuously fell for her. In the end, I couldn't help but wonder... Could any of this really be true? This is something that I have never pondered after finishing a book. And in reading the note from the author, I had my answer. I am so very thankful for that note. So very thankful for Camp. Elaine Wolf deserves tremendous praise for her amazing talent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Beth Fehlbaum on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Elaine Wolf has created a story rooted in secrets--and how keeping secrets affects people's lives, like a stone tossed thoughtlessly into a calm pond. Amy is a victim of her mother's secrets: because of her own unbearably painful past, Amy's mom is unable to show Amy and Amy's little brother, Charlie, the love they deserve. Away at summer camp--a place Amy did not want to go-- she is tortured by Rory, a poisonous person whose own secrets drive her to devastating depths of cruelty. Amy's cousin Robin, whose father owns the summer camp, is likewise cruel to Amy, taunting her with the knowledge of a secret about Amy's mom that seems to be common knowledge to everyone but Amy.
I love character-driven fiction, and Elaine Wolf has created believable three-dimensional characters--especially Rory--a character who could have been a one-dimensional villain, but the reader is made to understand in some small way what could drive a person to be so awful to other people.
CAMP is a book that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Discerning-Reader1 on June 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A MUST READ! YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!

I love CAMP! It's a must read for everyone - from eighth-graders to grandparents. CAMP is a gripping story with heartbreakingly-real characters.

CAMP is a haunting and inspiring coming-of-age novel about a fourteen-year-old girl who is ruthlessly bullied at summer camp, through a backdrop of complex family dynamics, marked by secrets, loyalties and betrayals. CAMP raises important questions about bullying that are relevant to children and families, teachers, and all who are or ever have been connected with young people in any way.

How do friends, bystanders, and adults take a stand against bullying? When a child is exploited, what contributes to her silence? What factors empower her to listen to her innate wisdom, speak out, ask for help, and resist? How can we radically change our culture to limit the power of bullies, protect children, and foster compassion? CAMP invites the reader to explore these vital issues through pages one will have trouble putting down until the very end. Ultimately, this is a story of finding one's voice, friendship, acceptance, and healing.

I'll say it again: I love this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
CAMP weaves together a narrative where the fibers of love and truth get entwined with those of hate and deceit. There are no true villains in this story of bullying and buried secrets because the author affords the reader insight into the motivation behind each character's actions. The 'Madmen" 1960s setting points out the universality of many life-altering issues we are still dealing with five decades later. I wish my daughter and I could have met Amy back when we were going to camp or starting high school. But we are both happy to have gotten to meet her today. CAMP is a true classic that belongs on every bookshelf, no matter what the reader's age. I love this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathy T on June 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I just read this book last weekend. It's a quick read mostly because you are immediately emersed into the main character and the several story lines and provocative themes that follow. Although labeled a young adult book, it is really for teens and adults of any age. I have just bought two more of the books for my two adult daughters. I highly recommend it for bookclubs, and my bookclub will be discussing it in the fall.
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