Customer Reviews: Nerd Camp
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars41
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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."
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on September 1, 2014
Gabe was such a fun character. He'd always wanted a brother. He knew with his parents divorced that was not going to happen. Then he learns his dad is getting remarried and he's going to have a brother after all. There is one problem. His new brother thinks learning over the summer is stupid and Gabe is going to a camp for nerds. he spends so much time trying to keep Zack from knowing he's a nerd. He's so worried about being a kid and fitting in. This would be great for my students because they all want to fit in. Gabe actually sets things up complete with a problem: "Am I a nerd who only has nerdy adventures?" and a hypothesis, "No". He decides there are things he can tell Zack such as, "Wesley (his bunk mate) says amazing things in his sleep." Then there is the actual truth he can't tell Zack. Wesley, "solves math problems and brain teasers" in his sleep. When Zack comes to pick Gabe up what will Zack truly think of his new brother?
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I'm an adult who dislikes the word Nerd. This book does a fabulous job of explaining how not only is it ok to be who you are, but to embrace it and live your own adventures. The main character Gabe is a 10 year old boy whos Dad is re-marrying. He is getting a brother (who is also 10 and into sports) Wanting so bad for his new brother to like him, he sets out on a quest to prove that he is not a nerd with nerdy adventures. I really saw the struggles on many children in finding themselves within Gabe and thought the author spun a witty tale to highlight the science and math fans in an adventurous light.
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on August 4, 2011
My 12-year-old daughter and I read Nerd Camp by Elissa Brent Weissman together. It was the first time we'd buckled down with a read aloud in a long time, and it was just the kind of book we like to enjoy together -- funny and sweet.

I'm not big on the word "nerd," because it's used as an insult, and like any insult it makes people feel badly about who they are. However, it totally works in this book. I think that the secret that most adult nerds know deep down is that they don't really care what other people think. The cover shows this delightful juxtaposition perfectly -- there are some mathematical equations for heat and the perfect angle for roasting the marshmallow. The title font shows the different elements, camp (wood), and books, graph paper, and circuitry.

Gabe, 10, has been accepted in a prestigious 6-week summer camp, SCGE or the Summer Gift for Gifted Enrichment, which other kids in the school call the Smart Camp for Geeks and Eggheads. He's excited about going, but he wants to impress his step-brother-to-be Zack, the ultimate cool guy, who he's just recently met. He begins wondering how he's going to look in Zack's eyes. He knows that there's a lot of cool things that go on at camp, like boating and swimming and an obstacle course, not to mention Color War.

So, he does what any geek gifted kid would do -- he makes a logic proof, which he adds to throughout the summer:

Problem: Am I a nerd who has only nerdy adventures?
Hypothesis: No

The proof is divided into two columns:

Things I can tell Zack (I am not a nerd)
Things I can't tell Zack (I am a nerd)

For example, "My bunkmates are really cool, and we became friends right away!" buuut. . . "They like learning digits of Pi."

Gabe and his bunkmates Wesley and Nikhil are great guys. Yes, they are gifted, but that's not all that they are. They know that other kids make fun of them, but they are also proud of who they are. However, Gabe knows that a little self-improvement, like trying out some cooler hairstyles, doesn't mean that he's turning his back on who he is.

I really can't say enough good things about Nerd Camp. The author's website has some fun supplemental activities, like a scavenger hunt, word games and logic puzzles.

Enjoy it with your favorite nerd (or any kid who loves camp adventures).

UPDATED 3/2013 to add that my 8 1/2 year old son read it, and loved it as well! He chuckled aloud and read funny parts to me as he was reading. And I heard that there's a sequel coming out! Can't wait.
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on June 15, 2011

This is a fantastic book for kids from ages 8 to 12. I just finished it and it is not only an entertaining story but it's fun and teaches a kids a valuable lesson about how important it is to just be themselves. The story is written with just the right amount of humor to keep you interested and even teaches you a few interesting facts along the way! I would definitely recommend this book to children of this age group and even to adults that enjoy a good middle grade book read from time to time.

Elissa Weissman writes with knowledge and the kind of humor that is somewhat reminiscent of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. I really loved this book and have passed it on to my daughter who was just dying to add it to her collection to read.

-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
©2010, Kitty, all rights reserved.
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on July 11, 2011
My soon-to-be nine-year-old son read this book within hours of bringing it home from the bookstore, and has read it at least twice more in the two days since. He couldn't pin down what he liked best about it - just that he really liked it all.
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on March 15, 2015
This book would be entertaining for someone who had attended a summer camp for "gifted" kids. There is one situation that drags on due just to it being too long, but overall this was fun and interesting. There is very little teasing or mean-spiritedness between "nerd" and non-"nerd" characters, which was nice.
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on July 26, 2012
I normally wouldn't have read this book. I'm a 13-year-old girl, and the main character is a 10-year-old boy. But the subject was what drew me in: Nerd Camp. As a veteran nerd-camper myself, I decided I wanted to see what this book was all about.

The premise is that 10-year-old Gabe is headed for nerd camp, but he doesn't want his uber-cool soon-to-be stepbrother Zack to find out, because Zack is everything that Gabe is not. He's in a logic class and makes a logical proof entitled, "Am I a nerd who only has nerdy adventures?" He also must deal with an annoying girl that seems to be stalking him.

What I most enjoyed about this book was reading about Gabe's adventures at nerd camp. I myself can't imagine a world without nerd camp (I love it very much), so it's a good trip down memory lane to read this book even though Gabe's nerd camp is very different from mine.

I found this book to actually be quite good, and I've read it twice. If you love nerd camp, then you should read Nerd Camp.
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on June 24, 2015
This story is about a young boy who's life changes practically overnight. His parents are divorced and he is longing for a sibling. When his dad gets remarried he gets a brother his age. They hit it off except the brother isn't exactly nice when referring to academically advanced children. It's not until his new friend Amanda shows him be proud of yourself that he forgets his fears and let's his stepbrother see him for what he is. If you like the book series "N.E.R.D.S." Then you're going to love reading this book.
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on December 24, 2015
nerd camp teavhes us a lesson to be proud of who you are and don't let other people change that. nothing wrong to be you.this book is a fun ecxiting book. Me, im more of a sporty guy but i think all nerds out in the world are awesome.

do not let others change you because youa are you.
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