Friday, June 14, 2019
Bummer Summer by Ann. M. Martin
With a new stepmom, sister, and baby brother in the house, Kammy’s summer can’t get any worse—until she goes to camp
Twelve-year-old Kammy Whitlock had been fine living with just her dad since her mom died when she was only four. Although she gets along OK with her new stepmom, the addition of a troublesome toddler and a crying new baby has pushed her over the edge.
Against her wishes, her parents have decided that Kammy needs a break from home life until her siblings have settled in. Kammy goes to Camp Arrowhead with the understanding that if she’s miserable, she can come home after two weeks. If not, she’ll stick it out the rest of the summer. But surviving even two weeks is going to be tough—she’s already gotten lost at night and made an enemy of Susie. Maybe Kammy just doesn’t fit in anywhere.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).
Ann M. Martin's Baby Sitter's Club series was one of my favorite series when I was a kid. I also really loved the numerous spin-off series that were created from that series. From the time I was in second grade until about sixth grade, I was absolutely obsessed. Recently, I got a chance to read one of her books, Bummer Summer. Even though I was not the intended audience, I did find it to be a cute, enjoyable book.
Reading Bummer Summer brought back so much nostalgia for me. I did not read the book when I was a kid, but just reading a book by Ann. M. Martin and experiencing her writing style all over again brought back great memories. It reminded me of all the weekends and summers I would sit at my grandma's house in her black recliner and read one of the BSC books from front to back in an hour or two because I couldn't put it down.
There were a few problems that I had with Bummer Summer. Some of the phrases and thoughts that are used made me cringe. For example the main character, Kammy, uses the word "slave" to describe/compare someone. That really didn't sit well with me. I know it's probably because it was more acceptable (although it's never been okay) to make that comparison in the time this was written (1986), but that should have been changed for the newer published version (2014), which is what I read. There were a few other things like that that made me cringe as well, and kind of took away from the reading experience.
Despite having a few problematic things in it, I thought Bummer Summer was a cute read. Even though I am not the intended audience, I found myself enjoying it. I think that it would be a great book for kids, especially kids adjusting to having new family in their lives, and in their homes. I think this would be a great tool for kids to relate to, and to get a conversation started about accepting new family members for who they are, and being patient as schedules adjust.
I give Bummer Summer: 3.5/5.
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I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.