Summer at Meadow Wood by Amy Rebecca Tan

Published by HarperCollins

Summer at Meadow Wood: Tan, Amy Rebecca: 9780062795458: Amazon.com ...

Summary:  Vic has been going to camp at Meadow Wood for many years, but this year feels different.  After discovering a secret about her mom, she’s pretty sure her parents are trying to get her and her younger brother out of the house so they can plan their breakup.  Angry and not really in the mood for camp activities, Vic gets pulled into camp life nonetheless.  She finds herself bonding with some unexpected allies, including Chieko, a moody counselor with attitude; Earl, the camp owner’s 67-year-old husband and his new garden; Vera, a precocious younger camper she mentors; and Angel, a boy that she meets when she helps Earl out at the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings.  Each of these people offers their own helpful insights and wisdom, and Vic ends the summer feeling stronger and happier than she ever thought would be possible.  384 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  I always enjoy a good camp story, and this one is chock full of interesting characters–even though there are a lot of people in this story, I had no trouble telling them apart, because their personalities shone through immediately.  With family issues, friendship issues, a crush, and a few trips to the emergency room, this book has everything to make it a satisfying summer read.

Cons:  Vic’s friend Jamie is referenced a few times: Vic’s mom called her a bad influence even though she’s a quiet bookworm; she had a crush that got her into trouble; she’s doing community service at the library.  I kept waiting to find out the full story, but it never came.  Quite by accident while writing this review, I discovered the book with Jamie’s story, A Kind of Paradise.  Still, if one hasn’t read this book (like me), you’ll be left with some questions when you get to the last page.

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