Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Sky Pony Press; 1 edition (June 15, 2012)
Every secret has a price.For most girls, sleepaway camp is great fun. But for Amy Becker, it’s a nightmare. Amy, whose home life is in turmoil, is sent to Camp Takawanda for Girls for the first time as a teenager. Although Amy swears she hates her German-immigrant mother, who is unduly harsh with Amy’s autistic younger brother, Amy is less than thrilled about going to camp. At Takawanda she is subjected to a humiliating “initiation” and relentless bullying by the ringleader of the senior campers. As she struggles to stop the mean girls from tormenting her, Amy becomes more confident. Then a cousin reveals dark secrets about Amy’s mother’s past, which sets in motion a tragic event that changes Amy and her family forever. Camp is a compelling coming-of-age novel about bullying, mothers and daughters, and the collateral damage of family secrets. It will resonate with a wide teenage readership. Camp will be a strong addition to school recommended reading and summer reading lists, and it is appropriate for anti-bullying programs. Mostly, though, Camp is a mother-daughter story for mothers and daughters to share.
There’s been so much publicity the last few months about bullying, I was really excited to read this book. I was never bullied and don’t remember anyone else being bullied in school. But that was a very different time.
This was an interesting book, the author did an amazing job of giving the reader a look into what it’s like to be the bully, and to be the one who is being bullied. Amy reacted like I assume most children being bullied do. They lose what confidence they had and become more introverted. Her abuser, Rory, was a troubled girl who couldn’t change her own horrible life, so she took out her frustration on anyone who was weaker than she was. She was a very good bully, she even bullied the adults. That’s what dumbfounded me. The adults seemed to cower when Rory was pulling her crap on them. What??? I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that an ADULT would let a child speak to them the way Rory did. But, I’ve never known a child like Rory, so I guess I’m not a good judge. I just know for myself, I wouldn’t have just stood there letting her spout her mouth of and then just slink away. As for Robin, I still don’t know why she sided with Rory, Amy was her cousin after all. Amy’s mom Sonia was not very likable. On one hand I wanted to shake her and tell her how her treatment of her kids Charlie and Amy was affecting them, but on the other hand I wanted to hug her for all she’d been through. All these different characters made one incredibly interesting book. All the characters were alive and made you FEEL.
The book has many sides. Bullying, family relationsships and secrets, low self-esteem, trust and in the end, gaining emotional strength, bonding and forgiveness.
I loved this book and think it’s suitable for all ages. I also think it should be required reading in elementary schools, maybe it would prevent or stop a child from being a bully.