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.
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 KrausSee all Editorial Reviews
In 1962, 14 year old Amy is sent to her uncle's camp for the summer, where she encounters several sociopaths who make her life miserable. Read more
Everyone has secrets, some hover near the surface while most we bury deep. It's how we deal with those secrets that makes us who we are. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Yankeelin
Amy is the new target of pranks at summer camp this year-her first year there. I can't imagine anyone being nastier then Rory and her gal pals. Read morePublished 10 months ago by For What It's Worth...
A moving and thoroughly absorbing coming-of-age tale. When Amy is sent to sleepaway camp against her wishes, she must deal with a cabin full of bullies. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kirsten
I wasn't sure that I would like this book when I read the reviews but decided to buy it anyway. I am so glad that I did. I was hooked from the first chapter. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Julene Robinson
Not worth your time. Very simple-minded and unsophisticated -- perhaps better for an 11 year old girl, but even then I'd doubt it.Published on August 9, 2013 by Sybil
What a well-written coming-of-age story! I do so love a first-person narrative, especially in this kind of novel. Camp is set in the 1960's, something that I really enjoyed. Read morePublished on July 17, 2013 by Kelli of I'd So Rather Be Reading
I enjoyed this book as I do most coming of age stories. Not sure what to think of the ending, but over all, a decent read.Published on June 27, 2013 by Linda M. James
this was such a great book and is was true what other reviews said I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN the only problem I had with the book was when you got where she sent a letter home or she... Read morePublished on June 13, 2013 by David L. Gilmore