cover image Camp Famous

Camp Famous

Jennifer Blecher. Greenwillow, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-0631-4068-4

Eleven-year-old white Abby Herman attempts to make friends in Blecher’s (Stick with Me) bighearted novel about truth and self-acceptance. When “ordinary” Abby gets the opportunity to attend sleepaway camp, she’s excited for a new cohort of eligible friends. It’s not until she arrives at the airport that her parents reveal that this is not a typical camp: Camp Famous is where famous kids go to get away from the pressures of public life. Despite the other campers’ inviting personalities, Abby pretends to be a famous writer to fit in, and ropes preeminent child reporter Oliver Frank, who’s white, into her scheme. As Abby finally makes friends, she begins to understand fame’s complexities, and realizes that her popular peers are not so different from her. Even so, she’s scared to admit her lies, and as these mistruths grow bigger, tension brews within her fledgling relationships. Through Abby’s fully realized loneliness and desire for connection, Blecher cleverly presents the pain of being left out, the joy of being seen, and the challenges along the road to accepting and celebrating oneself. Ages 8–12. Agent: Alexander Slater, Trident Media Group. (May)