May 30th, 2016 by Karen
Today is Memorial Day, and you know what that means — it may not be the official, scientific start of summer, but it’s definitely the beginning of the season in most people’s view. So get ready for barbecues, vacation, popsicles by the pool, trips to the beach, etc. And I bet some of you are going to sleep-away camp too.
I never got to do that as a kid, so I always like movies and books that take place at summer camp. Nancy J. Cavanaugh’s Just Like Me is no exception. The book comes out in just a few days, and it’s a great start to the season!
I enjoyed reading about camp activities like free swim and bonfires, and I got totally swept up in the cabin-vs.-cabin competition in wacky challenges like Egg Emergency, Four Fruit Hop Relay, and Rowboat Relay.
But this book is about much more than just a fun week at summer camp. It’s about how Julia deals with something she always tries to ignore: the fact that she was adopted from an orphanage in China. Now she’s being forced to attend camp with Becca and Avery, two other girls who were adopted from the same orphanage. The adoption agency wants to write an article about them, and their parents (who are all friends) think sending them all to camp together will make for a wonderful bonding experience. Avery and Becca are into the idea. Julia, on the other hand, can’t think of a worse way to spend a week.
As it turns out, Julia also has to deal with an additional unexpected problem at camp: No one in her cabin is getting along, and the whole group keeps getting punished for their fights!
So, you can see that this book is a great balance between the serious, heart-tugging adoption stuff and the fun, light-hearted camp stuff. I highly recommend it for your first summer read!
(Btw, it’s not at all a focus of the book, but the camp Julia goes to is a Christian summer camp of some sort. There aren’t really any details about that aspect of the camp, and that’s why I didn’t mention it earlier in my review. It’s kind of a side note to the whole story, but I don’t want you to be surprised by the minor references when you read the book.)
Do YOU have any camp plans this summer? If so, I’m very jealous! Leave a comment about your favorite part of camp life!
This is not the first time Karen has mentioned her disappointment over never getting to experience summer camp as a kid. Maybe she’ll put together a collection of all the instances where this comes up on Kidsmomo and send it to her parents to make them feel guilty about it.
Review copy of the book provided by the publisher.