Two weeks ago I posted my Teaser Tuesday on Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire by Brenda Ferber. I am sorry to say that because I have started so many other books it has taken me until tonight to finish it.
I started reading this book already thinking I was going to enjoy it. I had seen reviews of it on a few different blogs, and I like realistic tween fiction most of the time. As I was reading a good portion of the book today, I realized how much I really did like this story and how much I think girls who read this book will be able to relate to it.
Jemma is looking forward to going to camp for a month where she will be reunited with her best friend, Tammy, who moved away. However, when she arrives at camp Tammy is there, and so is Tammy's cousin, Brooke. Jemma struggles to try and have time with Tammy, and Tammy and Brooke seem to leave her out of their fun a lot. Jemma is not ready to give up the idea that she and Tammy are still best friends, even though that's not really how things seem to be working out. Another girl in their cabin, Delaney, seems a bit odd to Jemma at first. She doesn't want to get stuck with Delaney all the time when they pair off for activities, but realizes when they do spend time together they always have fun. Even realizing that Delaney is a lot of fun doesn't help Jemma forget about Tammy and her wish to be best friends with her. Brooke, the cousin, is obnoxious and mean, yet Tammy always manages to defend her and want to be with her.
There are a lot of things in this book I think girls will relate to. I certainly remember my own friendship struggles from my childhood and the feeling of being left out. While it is sad to see how Tammy and Brooke treat Jemma, it is also hard to watch how Jemma treats Delaney, who is only good enough to hang out with when Tammy doesn't want to be with her.
The resolution to this story is satisfying without it being too happy and unrealistic. The whole time I was rooting for Jemma to pick Delaney for a friend, and Delaney is a class act all the way through, giving some hope to all girls that there really are some nice girls out there who don't want to be a part of the friendship drama most girls have to deal with.
This is a great tween novel, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.