Sunday, July 3, 2016

Book Review: Camp Dork (Pack of Dorks, Book 2) by Beth Vrabel

Lucy and her pack are back, in this sequel to Beth Vrabel’s heartwarming and humorous debut, Pack of Dorks. Sheldon convinces Lucy, Sam, April, and Amanda to join him at a weeklong sleep-away summer camp—Camp Paleo: Live Like a Caveman. Like cavemen, they’re going to have to make do without air conditioning or a heated pool. They’ll learn archery and dig for fossils. And Grandma’s coming too; she’s taking a job as lunch lady for the camp next door.

At the last minute, Sam backs out to go to a gymnastics training camp instead. Lucy wonders why she misses him so much—it’s not like he’s her boyfriend or anything. Why does the word “boyfriend” make her blush, even when she’s only thinking it? She needs a distraction. Enter Mr. Bosserman, the grouchy camp leader who won’t budge on the caveman aspect of the camp. The old man needs some softening up, and Lucy knows just the person for the job: Grandma.

One successful match made, Lucy starts to see potential lovebirds everywhere. And setting up couples keeps her from facing the question tickling the back of her mind: Is she in love with Sam? But when the wrong campers fall for each other, the pack falls apart, all under the watchful eye of a super secret blogger who’s been writing about the camp’s activities Gossip Girl–style. Even worse? A thief is targeting everyone but Lucy, setting her up to look guilty. Soon Lucy again finds herself alone, left to fix the messes she’s made and face her own feelings. If she fails, the pack may be splintered for good.


Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

My Thoughts

This was a really cute book. It's been awhile since I sat down to read a book geared toward this age group because I usually buy the books for my kids and hand it to them. I did for this one too, but also took the time to get an idea what my child would be reading.

I didn't read the the first in this series, but that didn't seen to make a difference. I was able to step right into this story at camp, feel like I was there, and enjoy it. The writing was smooth and flowed really well. The words captured my attention and I liked the main characters. Especially Lucy.

There was a lot of plot to this book to keep me engaged and wondering what was going to happen next. I also felt like it was age appropriate, dealing with things that the age group of middle schoolers is dealing with. There are love interested and mean counselors. The dialogue between the characters is realistic and engaging.

Over all, a really great book. I don't think this is geared toward a male or female audience only, but both. That's really a big plus, because many of the books out there for middle schoolers seem to be geared toward one sex or the other.

I look forward to more books in this series and other books by the author.