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During her summer at Camp Nashaquitsa, eleven-year-old Abby tries to reinvent herself, while worrying about her mother, missing her dead father, and getting to know her equally self-conscious bunkmates
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Gr. 4^-6. Integrity and peer pressure are at the heart of Vail's latest novel, in which a confused 11-year-old does something she knows is wrong because she thinks it's what's expected. Abigail is determined to "reinvent" herself during summer camp and become the bold, brave girl she thinks her father, whose death still haunts her, wanted her to be. She certainly doesn't plan to remain an outsider, like her younger brother or like fellow camper Dana, whom everyone considers an obnoxious braggart. That Abigail actually likes Dana, who seems to understand her far better than do the other campers, must remain a well-kept secret. As in Wonder (1991) and Ever After (1994), Vail proves she knows about kids. She's right on target when it comes to the reality of preadolescent girls, catching how they act and what they say, their nastiness and envy and sweetness, and how confusing it is to long for independence, yet be afraid of the freedom and responsibility that come with it. This time around, however, Vail seems less sure of characters and point of view, with the latter sometimes awkwardly handled. Unlike some of her earlier books, this one doesn't have a comfortable ending. What happens is surprising (Abigail pees in Dana's mouthwash, is thrown out of camp, and is whisked off to a therapist), given Abigail's characterization as sensitive if confused (she's certainly never presented as malicious or stupid). Even so, the book still gives a pretty clear sense of how easily we bend to fit other people's expectations--when the real test of courage is being true to ourselves. Stephanie ZvirinFrom Publishers Weekly:
Abigail has decided that her 11th summer-and her first at sleep-away camp-will be one of transformation. Far away from the neighborhood kids and classmates who think she's a wimp, Abigail longs to become brave, hoping she can show them all and finally make her father proud, even if he died three years earlier. The lengths to which she goes to win new friends and develop a reputation for fearlessness are at the core of this humorous and heartbreaking novel. Throughout swimming, canoeing and macrame, Abigail bonds with all her bunkmates, including the annoying, baton-twirling Dana. Now known for never backing down on a dare, Abigail plays a prank nasty enough to badly embarrass Dana and to get herself kicked out of camp. Vail (Wonder; Do-Over) exposes the complicated emotional life of an 11-year-old girl by freshly capturing the pain, awkwardness and downright bewilderment of that age. Her snappy, realistic dialogue and dead-on descriptions of campers' body language anchor the proceedings in a readily recognizable pre-teen world. And Abigail's knowing assessments of her situation and her eventual self-acceptance, beautifully characterized by handwritten letters to her mother (and father) at the end of each chapter, are tender, powerful counterpoints that balance-but don't deflate-the book's many lighthearted moments. Ages 9-11.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Puffin, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110140383735
Book Description Puffin. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0140383735 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0963655
Book Description Puffin, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0140383735
Book Description Puffin, 1997. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # MB012YXFCQW