FICTION

Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe

HarperTeen. May 2020. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062397102.
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Gr 9 Up–When Sam’s college boyfriend decides to spend the summer in Europe, she scrambles to find a job. After a chance meeting with an old friend on the subway, she’s offered a camp counselor position. She’ll be a co-counselor for the junior group, the seven to nine-year-old children. Since Sam wants to become a teacher, she figures it’s the perfect job for experience. She doesn’t imagine how tiring it will be or that there’s only Wi-Fi in one spot at camp, making communicating with her boyfriend tricky. As time marches on, she’s immersed in camp activities and making sure her charges have a great time, but she’s also spending a lot of time with Gavin, another counselor. The more time she spends with him, the more she falls for him. This book takes place during six weeks of summer. The book is divided into six parts, one for each week at camp. While the age of the character could technically make this book New Adult, it reads like a YA summer romance. It’s the best of both worlds for a reader, as it allows them to feel nostalgia for camp while also reading the counselor side of the story. The racier side portrays drinking and drug use, hookups, mean girls, and bullying.
VERDICT A fun summer romance.

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