10 summer camp books to see you in the school year

Summer camp looms large in the American imagination. From Parents’ trap to me bug juiceFrom Hello Dodi to me Bunk’dSummer camp has always been a Hollywood favorite, on screens big and small.

However, while it may seem that every imaginable fictional character has spent at least one summer at Sleepaway Camp, research indicates that, in fact, only a very small percentage of parents send their children away for even part of the summer.

Fortunately, for those of us who haven’t had the classic summer camp experience, there’s no end to the number of summer-themed books we could fall into to catch up on what we’ve missed. Actually, scratch it: As I dive into these summer camp-themed books, not only can we see what we’ve missed with our *A* camp experience, we indirectly experience a whole world of cabin-and-summer by canoe, even when we’re stuck At home, even when summer fades and another school year approaches.

So while this list doesn’t even come close to covering all the great summer camp-themed books out there, it does at least run the gamut of what a summer camp book could be. sweet? full of adventures? horrifying? Like me? yes! These 10 books cover all of those and more. So indulge yourself in – whatever vibe you’re after, there’s a summer camp to read here for you.


To the night owl from dogfish.jpeg

night owl from sea dog It is a charming, middle-class epistolary novel that uses emails, texts, postcards, and voicemail to guide readers through the burgeoning friendship forged at camp between two girls who might become unmarried sisters, if all goes well with their parents’ courtship back home.

While admittedly there are far too many adults to allow twelve-year-olds to dictate their life plans in this book, the whole thing is a rollercoaster of fun feelings that makes hanging this particular thread of disbelief all the more worthwhile. The fuss.

And for fellow music lovers, the audiobook is listed in full Imani Parks, Cassandra Morris and the entire crewruns 6 hours and 13 minutes Long and can be found on Libro.fm here.

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When was the first issue of Lumberjanes It hit comic store shelves in 2010, feeling like it smashed every new genre possible. Co-created by Shannon Waters, Joss Allen, Grace Ellis, and ND Stevenson, the summer camp series was about treetop puzzles, baby crushes, and hidden adventures a full two years ago. Gravity Falls Even for the first time. And with such a wide range of vibrant characters for readers to recognize, from April at full speed to head-chilling Joe to Ace Archer Molly to soft punk money to Ripley’s Whirlwind – most of them comfortably eccentric, each with a fierce protection for all the rest. It is no wonder that Mariko Tamaki and Joss Allen have succeeded in turning their story into the form of a novel. In short: friendship to the extreme!

And for my fellow music lovers, The power of the unicorn! Narrate the audio book Amanda Lee Coperuns 4 hours and 15 minutes Long and can be found on Libro.fm here.

For a certain group of pre-teens (and their adult loved ones), Stuart Gibbs spy school Foundation Books.

Funny, action-packed, and full of spy fiction absurdity, spy campwho finds her young spy hero, Ben “Smokescreen” Ripley who is sent to a survival camp in the wilderness in the summer, perfect for anyone who loves Artemis Fowl or Alex Rider. Plus, as only the second installment in the 10-book series (!), it’s as good a place for new readers to delve into Gibbs’ world as any.

And for fellow music lovers, the audiobook is listed by Gibson Fraserruns > 6 hours and 43 minutes Long and can be found on Libro.fm here.

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Both demigod Greek summer camp lightning thief Books and Roman Preparation for Demigod Camp Olympus heroes The books that followed are so well known that real-life versions of both appear every summer across the country (and possibly the world). I can’t imagine either of them being a series, most people reading this list will need to tell them to pick it up for the first time, but in case you’re in the mood for a relaxing read and forgot that Percy Jackson and his friends exist, consider this your seasonal reminder.

And for fellow music lovers, the audiobook is listed by Jesse Bernsteinruns 10 hours and 1 minute Long and can be found on Libro.fm here.

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I might be one of the contestants on this one, having spent two seasons working at a Russian immersion camp in the woods north of Minnesota, but if what works for you is more than Funny because it’s true A memoir, Vera Brogsol’s graphic novel takes her memories as she goes to a Russian summer camp where a young immigrant teen will take you by heart. Well paced and full of intelligent dialogue and emotional grace, be ready It’s just a beautiful story, wise.

And to my fellow music lovers… well, bad luck with that. Go and enjoy the graphic novel in all its illustrated glory!

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See, summer camp as a kid might be for s’mores, singalongs, kayak trips, and prank wars, but summer camp as an older teen? It’s all about summer romance, baby! Well, that and things like Finding your inner value And the Discover your place in the world. This is where LC Rosen’s camp Enter.

Part queer rom-com, part queer drama coming of age, part queer complex character study (yes, that makes it 150% queer), camp Dedicated to the top YA readers on this list who are ready to read about some fun and real teenage reality inside a hip, inclusive, and glamorous summer camp.

And for fellow music lovers, the audiobook is listed by Drew Caydenruns 10 hours 22 minutes Long and can be found on Libro.fm here.

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Another nostalgic pick for any millennials reading this list, holes Arguably, more about America’s many historical, xenophobic, racist, and physical failures than about summer camp. But as anyone who memorizes the 2003 movie already knows, it wouldn’t have the same if Stanley Yellants Correctional Facility was sent to operate like a summer camp as seen through the mirror of the desert theater.

Also, while I may not need to read the recommended readers of this list lightning thiefIn this case, I think the opposite is true holes Having made a splash big enough to become a modern classic, it effectively absorbs all the oxygen from holes the book. So, if you are among the many who have seen the movie dozens of times but have never read the book, consider this an opportunity to change that.

And for fellow music lovers, the audiobook is listed by Keri Bayerruns 4 hours 29 minutes Long and can be found on Libro.fm here.

Welcome to nightmare.jpeg

Speaking of nostalgia, here we have the summer camp book from the last millennium. Arguably, R.L. Stine, king of the school library whore, was cutting summer camps all the way back in 1993. If you’re looking for any kind of high literary value, we can’t promise you’ll find it here. But if you’re looking for a classic hit of what Stine does best, Welcome to Camp Nightmare It’s the summer camp book for you.

And for fellow music lovers, there is no audiobook for this classic title, unfortunately, but there is an audiobook version called Red Moon Camp introduced in 2019 and performed by A Full castruns 4 hours and 32 minutes Long, and can be found on Audible here

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For top YA readers looking for a little in a file Queer Room Com section and a little more in true teenage crime wow 70s slasher clicks One, Maureen Johnson The chest in the forestThe standalone follow-up to the Stevie Bell trilogy that concluded two years ago might be right for you.

Set in a closed summer camp after playing the unwilling host in a gruesome, unsolved murder in the 1970s bought and refurbished by his tech rookie brothers, The chest in the forest She also sees the return of not only Stevie Bell, but all of her wonderful friends at Vermont Boarding School. So if you are missing Really disingenuous-Choose this! But also, don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it before Really disingenuousThe chest in the forestsuch as the UK group nine liars Due to be published this fall, it requires no prior knowledge of the original trilogy.

And for fellow music lovers, the audiobook is listed by Kate Rodruns 9 hours 12 minutes Long and can be found on Libro.fm here.

Stop craft presses, Ryan La Sala Honey It’s easily the weirdest, saddest, weirdest, and most disturbing summer camp book on this list. Offered to potential readers as part one Heathersone part Midsmarla sala Honey It follows the story of a gendered teenager named Mars who, in the summer after his twin Caroline dies in tragic circumstances, takes her place on a prestigious summer reserve that may also host a hot girl bee cult. Using the metaphors of horror to examine toxic masculinity (and stick it into a skewer), Honey Pretty much as much as you can get from the sweetness of feeling good about night owl from sea dog, but this is the joy of the summer camp context! It makes all things possible.

And for fellow music lovers, the audiobook is listed by house crossruns 10 hours 37 minutes Long and can be found on Libro.fm here.



Alexis Gunderson is a television critic and music lover. can be found @AlexisKG.

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