The Princess Diaries meets Harriet the Spy when Abby—the most ordinary girl in the world—finds herself undercover at a summer camp for famous kids. From acclaimed author Jennifer Blecher, Camp Famous is an accessible and fun summertime adventure about fitting in, being brave, and letting others see who you truly are. Camp Famous is pitch-perfect for anyone who loves Disney’s Camp Rock.
Eleven-year-old Abby Herman is beyond excited that her parents are letting her go to summer camp for the first time ever. Maybe camp will be the place she’ll finally find what she’s always wanted: a best friend. But—surprise!—she’s not going to just any summer camp, she’s going to Camp Famous, the one exclusively for famous kids escaping the spotlight.
Desperate to fit in with the pop stars, princesses, and geniuses, Abby creates a fake identity as a famous author. Everything goes as planned: the other girls welcome her, she participates in camp activities, and she even inspires a pop star! But as camp comes to a close, Abby finds herself torn between who she has pretended to be and who she truly is.
Summer Camp with the Rich and Famous
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Abby is finishing up fifth grade, and has had trouble fitting in with the other girls. When one incident on the playground ends with her crying in front of her favorite teacher, Ms. McIntyre. Even though one girl, Marin, tries to be nice to her, she frequently is picked on by Quinn. Abby occasionally can avoid the girls, and her parents send her to her grandmother for her birthday, so she doesn't have to be embarrassed when no one comes to her party, but she longs to have a best friend. She's asked to go to summer camp for a long time, but her parents always say it is too expensive. After the incident on the playground, her parents have a meeting with Ms. McIntyre that seems suspicious; no one has a parent meeting just to hear that their student is doing well. Soon, she learns that she is going to Camp Summerah, which Ms. McIntyre's brother runs. It's pretty posh, and Abby is soon on a plane to the camp, which she learns at the last minute is actually a camp for famous children who want to have ordinary lives for a change. One of her classmates, Oliver, is actually a famous reporter on children's issues, and after talking to him, Abby decides that she will pretend to be a famous writer of children's books in order to fit in better. Mr. McIntyre started the camp because he was a child star himself. Abby is in a cabin with Bells, who is a princess, Hazel, whose mother makes money taking pictures of Hazel and blogging about her life, Shira, who is a brilliant mathematical mind, and Willa, who is a ballet dancer who doesn't even want to be at the camp. There are other famous kids as well, including singer Kai Carter, who is very popular at Abby's school. Abby gets along well with the girls in her cabin, and she and Bella becomes especially good friends. She has a pleasant relationship with Kai, and enjoys all the sleep away camp activities. When she makes the other girls angry, she asks to leave camp, and goes to stay with her grandmother. Will Abby ever learn to make and keep good friends?
Abby's desire to have a good friends and to fit in with her peers is a universal one, and the chance to reinvent herself in a different setting is something young readers will enjoy reading about. I appreciated the fact that Marin was generally nice to Abby, but influenced by Quinn to be mean. Celebrity always has a certain appeal to young readers, so Abby's opportunity to rub elbows with the famous and influential is appealing wish fulfillment. There are lots of great details about activities at camp, and a realistic amount of tension and friend drama. This would make a fantastic beach read for a lot of tweens!
It seemed odd that the camp would allowe her to leave and fly her to her grandmother's, but then, it is a camp for children used to getting their way. Also, what tween doesn't want to fly and have a little vacation on the beach. Let's go now!
I really enjoyed this one, and it's a great camp book to add to other camp titles like Rhuday-Perkovich's It Doesn't Take a Genius, Sloan and Wolitzer's To Night Owl from Dogfish, Palma's The Popularity Pact: Camp Clique: Book One and Tan's Summer at Meadow Wood.