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YA & Middle-School Summer Camp Books

Jun 07, 2019

By: Kat Thomson

It’s summer time! Here’s a list of some great novels about the summer camp experience – may it be good, bad, or totally hilarious.

Camp Confidential #1: Natalie’s Secret by Melissa J. Morgan

The first novel of the Camp Confidential series features Natalie, an uptight city girl who knows nothing about nature or the wilderness (and wants to keep it that way!) Unfortunately for Natalie, her mother has decided she needs to learn a few life skills, and Natalie finds herself an unwilling camper at Camp Lakeview (where all the Camp Confidential books are set, each narrated by a different camper.) Luckily, Natalie undergoes a change of heart as she starts to make friends and enjoy the camp experience… if only she can keep her secret safe for the rest of the summer…

Nerd Camp by Elissa Brent Weissman

Gabe is pretty sure is doesn’t fall into the “nerd” category, but when he meets his new stepbrother Zack, he starts having second thoughts… after all, he has just been accepted into sleep-away camp at the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment. By surviving some wild camp experiences over the course of the summer, Gabe begins to realize that just because he and Zack are different doesn’t mean they can’t be good friends.

How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer by Taryn Souders

When Chloe hears that the summer camp her parents have registered her for is all about planning for a future career, she’s ready to quit before it even begins. On the bright side, maybe it’ll teach her some real money-making skills! Or maybe, Chloe will learn just how good she is at being the worst-behaved camper of the entire summer…

Lumberjanes, Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Shannon Watters

The first graphic novel of the Lumberjanes series introduces the bizarre, fantasy setting of “Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's camp for hard-core lady-types” and its awesome group of campers. The five central characters;  Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are  constantly dodging trouble as they encounter all kinds of supernatural creatures and wild adventures… not that they’re going to let a little mystery or two get in the way of a fun-filled summer of friendship!

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer

A fabulous and hilarious novel told in emails and letters. Book-loving Avery is from New York while outgoing Bett is Californian, but the two girls are sent to the same summer camp, despite their protests. Their dads have fallen for each other and really want their daughters to become friends, and maybe even step-sisters one day. An unpredictable summer adventure brings Avery and Bett (aka Night Owl and Dogfish) closer than they thought possible, but is that enough to make them family? 

Camp by Kayla Miller

Olive and Willow are best friends, so of course they’re going to have a blast being at the same camp all summer! In this graphic novel, outgoing Olive forges all kinds of new friendships right away, but Willow is reluctant to share her bestie, resulting in some major problems. Can Willow and Olive manage to avoid a BFF break-up, or will summer camp be the demise of their friendship?

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

This light-hearted and relatable graphic novel follows Vera to Russian summer camp – not exactly the experience of Vera’s dreams, but it’s all her mother can afford. Throughout the summer, Vera struggles to “fit in” and belong, but she also realizes the importance of finding true friends and being proud of your own identity.

Share Your Thoughts

What are some of your favourite books set at summer camp? Share your thoughts in the comments section & happy reading!