cover image Camp


Elaine Wolf. Skyhorse/Sky Pony, $16.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61608-657-2

Fourteen-year-old Amy Becker dreads being sent to her Uncle Ed's sleepaway camp in Maine%E2%80%94she worries that she won't make friends and hates the idea %E2%80%A8of leaving her autistic younger brother, Charlie, with her chilly and image-%E2%80%A8conscious mother. After Amy arrives at camp, a cruel camper named Rory taunts her at every occasion and puts her through a mortifying "initiation, " stripping Amy naked in front of two boys and throwing her in the lake. Meek and na%C3%AFve, Amy has to lose her self-pity, boost her self-esteem, and make a friend to survive. While bullying is the focus of Wolf's debut novel, the author throws in a wide range of additional dramas and tragedies (extramarital affairs, abandoned children, death) that overwhelm the narrative. In the last quarter of the book, Wolf works to explain Amy's mother's troubled history and tie up loose ends, but there's little to establish the book's historical setting (1962) and Amy's mother's German heritage, both of which end up being important to the plot. Ages 13%E2%80%9316. Agent: Jennifer Lyons, Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. (July)