Summer at Meadow Wood

HarperCollins/Harper. May 2020. 384p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062795458.
Gr 3-7–Thirteen-year-old Vic is furious that her mother shipped her and her little brother to camp in New Hampshire. Meadow Wood used to be a place Vic looked forward to returning to every summer, but this year is different because Vic knows the real reason she is at camp—her mother needed the kids out of the house to deal with her “big secret,” Darrin. Feeling betrayed and confused, Vic begins searching for answers in Meadow Wood and finds them in the least expected places. This title is a true tween read. Vic and her friends are girls on the brink of many teenage moments including crushes, peer pressure, and realizing that parents are far from perfect. Vic looks for guidance in many people at camp. Earl, the camp director’s husband, teaches Vic the importance of hard work through gardening; Chieko, the angsty-yet-wise college counselor, teaches Vic about her idol Eleanor Roosevelt and that your first love can crush you but won’t break you; and Vera, a seven-year-old first year camper, whose quirky self adores Vic wholeheartedly.
VERDICT This exceptional summer read is a true middle school novel—gentle enough for preteens and layered enough for teens through eighth grade. Hand to fans of Rebecca Stead, Jenny Han, and Sarah Dessen.

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