cover image Dan Versus Nature

Dan Versus Nature

Don Calame. Candlewick, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7071-9

In this laugh-out-loud gross-out comedy, 16-year-old Dan Weekes is forced to participate in a survivalist camping trip with his mother’s new fiancé, and his attempts to sabotage the bonding experience go hilariously, horribly awry. Dan would rather draw comics than catch and cook his own dinner, and he certainly doesn’t want handsome dentist Hank to become his new father. So Dan and his best friend Charlie launch an all-out campaign of terror designed to drive Hank away. But as the trip becomes a nightmarish struggle to elude hungry bears and survive in the wilderness, it’s Dan who suffers the most, from food poisoning to poison ivy and wasp stings in unwelcome places. If their ragtag group—which also includes a hyper-smart, no-nonsense girl named Penelope—is to make it, they’ll have to work together. Calame (Call the Shots) utilizes every juvenile humor trick in the book (body odor, flatulence, awkward sex jokes, regurgitation) to draw guilty laughter from Dan’s onslaught of shameful experiences. The result is coming-of-age by way of catastrophe. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Apr.)