Top positive review
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Fun, empowering book for young nerds
on May 9, 2011
Nerd Camp is based on the Johns Hopkins' Center for Talented Youth, but anyone who has been to an academics-based summer camp will recognize the setting. Gabe is a 10-year-old nerd who is really excited about going to the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment for the first time, where he'll get to take classes in poetry and logical reasoning along with traditional summer camp activities like kayaking and swimming. But then he meets his soon-to-be stepbrother, Zack, a kid who is ultracool and makes fun of nerds. Gabe is caught between his love of learning and his desire to impress Zack.
It's a very fun story with delightful characters, but ultimately it's about embracing who you are and not worrying about what others think. In this day and age you'd think that we wouldn't need books like this any more, but with incidents like Star Wars Katie getting teased for her taste in pop culture, apparently it's a lesson that kids still need to learn. Though there are parts of the book that apply to non-nerds (like Zack), I'd say the target audience is still kids with a love of learning, particularly those who are starting to feel the pressure of being "cool."