Nerd Camp

Elissa Brent Weissman, Author
Elissa Brent Weissman. S&S/Atheneum, $15.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1703-8
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4424-1705-2
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-1-4424-1704-5
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What 10-year-old Gabe wants more than anything is a sibling, and he gets his wish when his father announces his fiancée has a son, Zack, precisely Gabe's age. But after Gabe meets super-cool skater dude Zack, he feels self-conscious about everything, especially his upcoming trip to sleepaway camp. Zack mistakenly believes that Gabe is going on an exciting wilderness adventure and is envious; what Gabe hasn't revealed is that the camp is actually geared toward brainiacs, with daily activities like problem-solving using the postulates of logical reasoning. Will Gabe's relationship with his new stepbrother sour if Zack finds out what a nerd Gabe is? Gabe composes lists of what he can safely tell Zack about camp, leaving out the poetry writing, singing songs written in binary code, and taking part in a "Lice 101" class in which they enthusiastically study the louse that has infested the camp. Though Weissman's message about individuality is mildly prescriptive and Zack's character is absent for much of the narrative, she persuasively conveys Gabe's anxiety over both living up to the perceived expectations of others and his desire to escape being labeled. Ages 8–12. (May)
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