Young Adult Books Set At Summer Camp
Summer is winding down, which means it's almost time for everyone to go back to school, and vacation season is wrapping up. As fall arrives, some bibliophiles may cling to books set in summer as a reminder of the season of cookouts and beach days. When I was a child, I was fortunate enough to attend summer camp for numerous summers of my life. While these camps may have only lasted two weeks, I'd learn skills related to music and writing, and leave with friendships I still hold onto today. The following books are perfect for readers who want to feel the energetic buzz, tumultuous friendships, and sweet romances of summer camps.
When they were fifteen years old, Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe were best friends at Camp Okahatchee. It's the summer before college and as the camp's reunion party approaches, the friends are forced to admit they have drifted apart: Zoe is a champion fencer, Princeton bound Luciana wants to be with her boyfriend, and Tali is obsessed with popularity and boys. Joy brings the group together, wanting to tell the friends something, but when they get into a photo booth to take a picture, the girls are transported back to the summer when they were fifteen. Can Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe figure out what they need to change about their past to return to the present? Readers who want a story that's reminiscent of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares will enjoy Proof of Forever.
Samantha's mother was a professional ballerina, and all her life, Sam has wanted to follow in her mom's footsteps. As Sam goes through puberty, she develops curves that the ballet industry deems too big, leading Sam to have regular panic attacks. Sam's mother decides that the solution is three weeks at Perform at Your Peak, a summer camp for teens who struggle with anxiety. Sam slowly starts to build a healthier relationship with food and feel less anxious, even bonding with a counselor named Andrew. When Sam gets bad news from her ballet studio though, her progress is undone. Can Sam learn to be happy with her body and still have a place in the dance world? Not only does How It Feel To Fly artfully portray the bonds that teens form at summer camp, it's also a great title for audiences who love books that address mental health.
Gloria Bishop, or Glo, is spending the summer before her senior year of high school at Geek Camp, a camp for gifted and talented high school students at Morlan College in her home state, Kentucky. Glo, along with campers Chloe, Mason, and Calvin, is taking Secret of the Written Word from the mysterious Professor X, who doesn't show up for the first day of class, but instead sends the teens on a scavenger hunt. At first, Glo is miserable. On top of mourning the death of her grandmother and missing Carol, her best friend, Glo finds Mason intolerable and struggles to see eye-to-eye with her roommate Jessica, a girl who comes from a coal-industry family. Glo had always planned to move to New York City after graduation, but over the course of her summer in Kentucky, she falls in love with her home state, and with Mason. As she balances on the cusp of a new chapter of her life, Glo must find the courage to pursue what she wants, if she can even decide what that is. Anyone who loves scavenger hunts, academia, and quirky novels will adore Breakfast Served Anytime.
Jo, Molly, Mal, April, and Ripley are attending Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's camp for hard-core lady-types, which is run by a Rosie-the-Riveter lookalike who lets her campers get up to mischief. Each girl has a distinct personality, from Jo's proclivity for math, to Ripley's love of all things cute, to a budding potential romance between Mal and Molly. When three-eyed foxes tell the girls to “Beware the holy kitten,” the girls find themselves trying to defeat a river monster, talking statues, and a pack of yetis. The characters use sayings that are great nods to woman throughout history and present day, such as"Where the Phyllis Wheatley were you?" Anyone who loves graphic novels and enjoys a healthy dose of feminism and paranormal activity with their summer camp stories will love Lumberjanes Volume 1: Beware the Holy Kitten.
Atlanta native Maggie Thrash has attended Camp Bellflower for Girls for years, a Christian camp that is big on tradition. The summer that she is fifteen-years-old, Maggie arrives having never kissed a boy and with a strong love of the Backstreet Boys. When Maggie has brief physical contact with an older counselor named Erin, she finds herself falling in love fast and hard. Does Erin like Maggie back, and if she does, will Camp Bellflower accept two girls being together? Thrash's graphic memoir Honor Girl is a moving story of self-discovery and romance.