cover image Unscripted


Nicole Kronzer. Amulet, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4084-8

Seventeen-year-old Zelda Bailey-Cho is ready to spend her summer at a prominent Colorado improv camp with her stepbrother, Will, and his boyfriend. Landing a spot on the camp’s varsity team is the first step toward her goal of landing on SNL by age 25, but she quickly realizes the camp, while founded by a notable female comic, is rife with sexism and toxic masculinity. Out of 200 campers, only five—Zelda’s bunkmates in counselor-less cabin Gilda Radner—are female; Zelda is the first to make varsity in 15 years. Ben, the 20-year-old varsity coach, shows an immediate interest in Zelda, which both flatters and unsettles her, but it seems harmless next to the constant sexism and sexual innuendo of her varsity teammates. As the general harassment intensifies, and Zelda becomes increasingly alarmed by Ben’s erratic behavior and gaslighting, her growing bond with her cabinmates and with a few Boy Scout troop guides from the neighboring camp allows for moments of connection and romance. Kronzer excels at balancing humor with difficult subjects, portraying sexism and toxic masculinity in comedy with appropriate gravity while celebrating positive, healthy relationships and growth through active choices. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Apr.) [/em]