Monday, November 14, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: NERD CAMP

Nerd Camp by Elissa Brent Weissman (Atheneum, 2011) Nominated for the Cybils by Jennifer Donovan of 5 Minutes for Books. (All opinions are my own and are not meant to reflect the opinions of the entire judging panel.)
Isn't this a great cover? Letters made from books, protractors, electrical circuits, and a campfire broken into chemical constituents. 10-year-old Gabe loves learning and logic, and he is super excited about going to the Summer Centre for Gifted Enrichment. Until, that is, he meets his hip, cool, and soon-to-be stepbrother, Zack.

Zack thinks kids who want to study over the summer are geeks and nerds. In his desire to impress Zack, Gabe does all he can to cover the fact that he too is spending six precious weeks at "nerd camp." The novel traces Gabe's growth from a kid who is worried about what people think of him, to a kid who embraces his intellect and is proud of his geek-hood.

I loved this sweet story, and empathized completely with Gabe. Too many high-achieving kids endure putdowns like "nerd" and "geek"--but, come on folks, we know who really runs the world after high school. Bill Gates would have thrived at a camp like this.

Elissa Brent Weissman is a writer to watch. You can find more about her at her cool website, HERE.

(Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, the brainchild of Shannon Messenger, makes Mondays truly marvelous. You can find other MMGMers at my sidebar. And Happy Reading!!)


  1. Sounds like a great book that all us nerdy kids could relate to. Thanks for spotlighting it.

  2. Just looking at the cover makes me want to read this book, and your description clinched it. Definitely one I'm going to look for.

  3. 100 percent agreed about the cover and I also like the premise.
    This book will make a great gift for a boy :)

  4. "... but, come on folks, we know who really runs the world after high school." HA! Amen to that!

    I suspect most introvert writer-types were nerds in school (I certainly was).

    This sounds hilarious. I'm always looking for funny books to recommend for boys.

  5. This seems like one of those books you could point a struggling kid toward and it could really make a difference in his or her life. And written in a humorous fun way.

  6. I can't believe kids still use the word "nerd" after all these years of living in the thrall of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I guess some things never change.

    I'm MMGMing now too. Can you add me?


Youse got something to say? Well, say it then. (The Don and I will shoot you... a personal reply, that is. But if we can't find your e-mail, we'll just reply in the comment box.)