Camp Shady Crook

Aladdin. May 2019. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534422261.
Gr 3-7–Camp Shady Brook, also known as Camp Shady Crook, is not as nice as the publicity makes it seem. The cabins, the lake, and all the activities are meant to attract wealthy campers but the facility leaves something to be desired. What place could be better for Archie Drake, scam artist extraordinaire, to find his marks? Back at home he’s a nobody, but at camp everyone thinks he’s related to a billionaire. Using his powers of persuasion, Archie can trick almost anyone out of their pocket change. As a self-proclaimed Robin Hood, he only targets wealthy attendees and not scholarship campers like himself. When new camper Vivian shows up and catches onto his schemes, the two rivals form a partnership while continuing to compete. Vivian is not looking for friends and would rather trick others before they can trick her. When they realize there may not be a camp to return to next year, the two must find a way to use their deception for good and to save the camp. While Archie and Vivian aren’t always likeable, readers will become invested in following their schemes and wondering how—and if—they will redeem themselves.
VERDICT A fun, fast-paced tale recommended for most middle grade collections, especially where camp novels are popular

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