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3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  277 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Every secret has a price.

For most girls, sleepaway camp is great fun. But for Amy Becker, it's a nightmare. Amy, whose home life is in turmoil, is sent to Camp Takawanda for Girls for the first time as a teenager. Although Amy swears she hates her German-immigrant mother, who is unduly harsh with Amy's autistic younger brother, Amy is less than thrilled about going to camp
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 15th 2012 by Sky Pony Press (first published June 1st 2012)
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Just a Drop of Water by Kerry O'Malley CerraTimekeeper by Tara SimFear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn MarshPandemic by Yvonne VentrescaIt's a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt
Sky Pony Press YA/MG
24th out of 45 books — 77 voters
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YA set in the 1960s
27th out of 74 books — 19 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Paul  Hankins
Every secret has its price. . .

I am coming out to call Elaine Wolf's CAMP the sleeper hit of the YA genre in 2012. Elaine Wolf has been actively advocating for bullying awareness in the various social media forums. And she has quietly promoting her book, CAMP, while befriending readers at Facebook and Twitter.

Here is a book that isn't coming out to big fanfare. No cardboard cutouts or billboards. It's a quiet kind of promotion. From reader to reader. On the day I received my copy, I noted that
Rebecca McNutt
Sep 20, 2016 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
Camp is a really intense, emotional and slightly eerie story of a girl who uncovers the reasons behind her family's dysfunction, unfolding a mystery in the earlier life of her cold, belittling and emotionally distant mother in particular.
I had the most fortunate accidental meeting of author Elaine Wolf on Facebook through a mutual friend (none other than Mr. Paul W. Hankins), that has resulted in a developing friendship of mutual respect and support. Elaine is the author of CAMP, a brand new YA novel which she graciously sent to me complete with autograph!!

Although I couldn’t get to reading CAMP right away, my daughter Keri snatched it up and read it in a matter of hours (she devours books almost as fast as I can get them into
May 26, 2012 Jodie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, arc
You know when you come across one of those books that really makes you stop and think about not only your life, but the way the world is? A book that grabs you and shakes you down to your core. Shakes hard. It's rare, unique, and to be treasured. That is exactly what I found in Camp.
When I first decided to review Camp, I figured it would be some fluffy book about a mother/daughter adventure and a big bonding experience. What I found was far from that. Camp doesn't skim on issues at hand, but
Cindy Hudson
Jul 27, 2012 Cindy Hudson rated it liked it
When Amy’s Uncle Ed buys Camp Takawanda for Girls in Maine, her dad signs her up for the eight-week summer program even though she doesn’t want to go. Amy’s mother, who is unemotional with Amy, is even harsher with her younger brother, who has autism. Amy knows she needs to stay home to run interference between the two of them, and because Charlie is closely bonded with her.

But when summer comes Amy finds herself on a bus from her home in New Jersey to the woods of Maine, and right away she know
Aug 30, 2015 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Grade: D-

In 1962, 14 year old Amy is sent to her uncle's camp for the summer, where she encounters several sociopaths who make her life miserable. The bullies she encounters, including her own cousin, are practically sadists and while there is a hint one girl's troubled family, the whys of her behavior are never explained. Additionally there are family dynamics thrown into the mix to explain her cold mother's behavior that just don't fit the rest of the story.

CAMP could have been a better story
Jun 26, 2012 Erin rated it liked it
An engrossing story about a girl named Amy who comes from a family with a strict immigrant mother, (described as German but actually Jewish), tons of silence and secrets and a mentally challeneged brother. The story takes place in the early 1960's...Amy's uncle buys a girls sleepaway camp and her parents decide to send her for the summer. Unfortunately, she becomes a scapegoat for the camp bully who dreams up an "initiation" where Amy is victimized. The rest of camp is tolerable but Amy is ...more
Jun 21, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing
It was really hot last night. Without air conditioning, i didn't think I'd be able to sleep. About 11:00 p.m., lying on my bed under the ceiling fan, I picked up my copy of CAMP, opened it, and started reading. Two hours later, I finished.

I read a lot, but I bet the last YA book I read was with my own daughters, several long decades ago, so I'm no expert in this genre. And, as I expected, there was a simplicity of prose and plot. But there's nothing simple about the characters in this book, thei
Feb 09, 2013 Marcia rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya
I heard about this book in an email from the author, touting it as a good choice for school summer reading lists and the anti-bullying curriculum. This book was a big miss for me. Too many sensationalized story ideas crammed into 200 pages, writing that was forced and choppy, no flow. I read to the end only because I had to see how the author could wrap this up. Bullying at summer camp is only a small part of this story with an icy mother-daughter relationship more the core. Throw in a mentally ...more
Amanda Gelardo
Oct 01, 2012 Amanda Gelardo rated it it was amazing
A real Page Turner!!! Read it in just about 8 hours which is a hard feat with 3 handicapped children, but it was just that Awesome!! You feel like you are one with the main character, Amy Becker. Hard book to put down....and have tissues ready, and lots of them!!! Recieved this book for free through Goodreads First Reads!!!!
Sarah (YA Love)
Review originally posted at Y.A. Love

Camp by Elaine Wolf is a quiet book that will resonate with many readers. It’s a fast read; I read it within a couple hours of starting it. The story keeps a steady pace and held my interest from beginning to end.

Amy Becker doesn’t have a cozy life at home, at least when it comes to her mother. From the very beginning of the book, Amy’s mother struck me as cold and distant. Amy does, however, have a very close relationship with her brother who, even though it
Oct 16, 2012 Estelle rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

Take any kumbaya notions of summer camp and forget them because Amy Becker’s experience is anything but.

Instead of a summer making friends and playing tennis, she is the butt of the biggest bully’s jokes. And sometimes more than jokes, incidents that could qualify as sexual harassment. Rory is probably one of the bitchiest characters I have ever met in the literary world. She has no respect for her equals, for her elders, and never thinks before
Jul 03, 2012 Kelli rated it really liked it
What a well-written coming-of-age story! I do so love a first-person narrative, especially in this kind of novel. Camp is set in the 1960's, something that I really enjoyed. It was neat to get a glimpse of family life back then. The family dynamics were intriguing, especially considering Amy's mother's immigrant history.

I really felt for Amy. She feels responsible for her younger brother, Charlie, who is autistic. Their parents are not exactly models of the best way to care for and treat an au
This is one powerful can't put down book! I read all of it today, spending a lazy day reading on the swing on the deck.
The story is of Amy who has a cold unloving mother, a father who while loving Amy, condones her mothers behaviour with little insinuations of the hard life her mother previous had that she won't talk about. Then add Charlie, her 8 year old autistic brother, her life revolves around Charlie, she seems to be the primary caretaker, shielding him from their mothers never ending tir
Aug 07, 2016 Vicki rated it it was amazing
There’s been so much publicity the last few months about bullying, I was really excited to read this book. I was never bullied and don’t remember anyone else being bullied in school. But that was a very different time.

This was an interesting book, the author did an amazing job of giving the reader a look into what it’s like to be the bully, and to be the one who is being bullied. Amy reacted like I assume most children being bullied do. They lose what confidence they had and become more introver
Aug 26, 2015 Kati rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this as a Goodreads First Read.

First, my issues: Some of the dialog felt stilted, not very realistic. There was some confusion for me as to timing with some of the events, and why certain things were said/done between characters.

The highs: the story was fast paced from the get-go. Took us right into the story and the conflicts between Amy & her Mom, Amy's Mom & Dad, Amy's Mom & Charlie.... Rory.... I was torn about Rory. Some of the things she said & did made sense, ot
Mady Suitor
May 14, 2014 Mady Suitor rated it really liked it
Shelves: camp
Fourteen-year-old Amy Becker lives a not-so-perfect life. Her secretive, harsh mother doesn't seem to want other people's opinions. Especially Amy's father When it comes down to it, her mother does what she wants, no matter what other people think of it. Whether its sending Amy to summer camp, or completely ignoring her autistic son, Charlie.

Amy devotes a lot of her time taking care of Charlie. She loves him with all of her heart, even if she doesn't receive love from her own parents. Amy is mo
Jul 16, 2015 Kati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this as a Goodreads First Read.

First, my issues: Some of the dialog felt stilted, not very realistic. There was some confusion for me as to timing with some of the events, and why certain things were said/done between characters.

The highs: the story was fast paced from the get-go. Took us right into the story and the conflicts between Amy & her Mom, Amy's Mom & Dad, Amy's Mom & Charlie.... Rory.... I was torn about Rory. Some of the things she said & did made sense, ot
Aug 28, 2013 MysticMemories rated it liked it
I wasn't able to put this book down. Be warned: if you are going to start reading this book you will have trouble putting it down. This book was well written, but depressing.

It is about a girl named Amy who is forced by her parents to go to sleep away camp. Her mother is very strict and doesn't show affection. Her dad is nice but always listens to her mom. She also has a brother who seems to be autistic or on the spectrum.

When she arrives at camp, she meets her new bunkmates. On the bus she he
Nov 18, 2014 Jamie rated it really liked it
This book was amazing! I loved it and couldn't put it down! At the end of the book, Amy's mother opens up to her. This was while Amy's mother was sick. She told Amy about how her brother, Walter, was killed in a Holocaust labor camp, Auschwitz. How the day after she left for Paris, her husband and two year old daughter were killed in a Holocaust related event called Kristelnacht. Also, Amy reached out to Erin, Donnie, and Andy. She felt awful about not talking to them for years. She apologized ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Ava rated it it was amazing
I thought Camp was a moving, cliff-hanger, that you can't put down. Camp is about a girl named Amy Becker. Amy lives with her German mother, her brother Charlie, and her dad. Her brother, Charlie, was born with a disability. Amy's mom is always on her back telling her to do better in school, sports, everything. When Amy's Uncle buys Camp Takawanda for girls Amy is forced to attend. The minute she steps on the bus she realizes she is in over her head. While attending the camp she is bullied, ...more
Nov 01, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amy is the new target of pranks at summer camp this year-her first year there. I can't imagine anyone being nastier then Rory and her gal pals. Well except maybe for Amy's mother who finds fault with Amy every step of the way it seems.

The theme alone would draw young readers in but don't be fooled into thinking that because of its innocent beginning and camp theme that this is harmless youth reading. There is much sexual innuendo that sometimes goes beyond that in it's male/female content.

Yuai Kozuchi
May 08, 2016 Yuai Kozuchi rated it really liked it
I personally thought this book was great. The writing is pretty powerful in means of conveying the reader to clearly understand and cling to the perspective of the main character. The strengths of this book include that it really shows emotion and the fact that the mother avoided and cared to love her two children really hit me hard. I find it significant that this author slowly revealed the mother's secrets during the course of the story allowed me to continue to keep reading and I find that a ...more
Amazing, amazing, AMAZING book. It only has 263 ratings and 70 reviews on Goodreads at the time I'm writing this, so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pick up this book and read it-- you'll be glad you did.

Set in 1962, a young girl by the name of Amy is sent to her uncle's camp for the summer by her harsh, German-immigrant mother who she hates, meaning she must leave behind her autistic younger brother. She dislikes her mother, with her perfectionist ways and brutal words, who constantly tries to reshape A
Elizabeth Ridley
Sep 07, 2012 Elizabeth Ridley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction
Elaine Wolf’s CAMP is a classic coming-of-age tale that recalls the work of Judy Blume in her prime with its likable (and refreshingly “real”) heroine, 14-year-old Amy Becker, who faces the challenges of adolescence with courage and aplomb. Amy has a strict German-immigrant mother, a kind but ineffectual father, and a younger brother with special needs, but Amy’s real trouble begins when she spends the summer at a girls’ camp in Maine run by her uncle, where she endures savage bullying, ...more
Aug 11, 2013 Leonard rated it it was amazing
Amy doesn't want to go to camp for eight weeks and leave her beloved handicapped little brother, although she would love to get away from her cold unaffectionate mother. But the camp is now owned by her uncle and his brother, her father, isn't really listening to her protests. At the camp she is promptly and cruelly targeted by Rory, a bully looking for an easy victim. Amy has trouble speaking up for herself as Rory designs a particularly cruel scheme to torture Amy. However Amy is a skilled ...more
Holli Benkelman
Jul 23, 2015 Holli Benkelman rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2012 Cara rated it it was amazing
I love this book! CAMP is so well written, and it's a great story. I couldn't put it down. But CAMP is more than just a terrific read; it also highlights the serious problem of bullying that is so prevalent in camps and schools. As a psychotherapist and a director of a group practice that specializes in working with teenagers and their parents, I see many teens who have been bullied. Wolf's description is right on - no more is it just "You're fat and your mother wears combat boots." The ...more
Jun 09, 2012 Seniorcitizen rated it it was amazing

A few days ago, someone gave me a copy of Elaine Wolf’s new novel, CAMP, and told me I’d love it. I was skeptical, because the inside flap of the book says “Young Adult” and “a mother-daughter story for mothers and daughters to share.” Well, I haven’t been a young adult for nearly 50 years and I am neither a mother nor a daughter. I am a man in my late sixties, and I loved this book.

Wolf is a great storyteller and CAMP is a great story. I couldn’t put it down. And who
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
Wow. I am still reeling. I am also having a hard time articulating how this story affected me. Wolf captures the darker, less talked about world of teenage girls and bullying in her novel CAMP. Wolf tells a story of how relentless bullying affects a young woman while she is attending a summer camp. Wolf subtly gives us the back-story of many of the characters, giving the reader a better understanding of all sides. This story is deep and complex. CAMP is so much more than just teenage bullying ...more
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Known as "the anti-bullying novelist," I write about what really goes on behind the closed gates and doors of our camps and schools. The issues I explore in CAMP and DANNY'S MOM are those I am passionate about and know well.

I was a camper and camp counselor for many summers. When I entered "the real world," I taught in public schools in California and New York -- and then I became a district langu
More about Elaine Wolf...

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