Nerd Camp Review
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Maybe you were a popular kid, always surrounded by a crowd of admirers. Or maybe you were a jock, playing a different sport every season. But I was a nerd. I loved math and reading. I hung out with other kids who loved the same nerdy stuff. And I was always well aware of my nerdy status. So I can definitely relate to the nerdy hero in Elissa Brent Weissman’s Nerd Camp.

Ten-year-old Gabe is in for an exciting summer. Not only has he been accepted by the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment, but he’s also about to get the brother he’s always wanted.

Gabe wants nothing more than to be best friends with his new step-brother-to-be, Zack. But everything about Zack is super-cool—from his surfer style to his text-messaging friends—and Gabe is pretty sure that Zack would shun him forever if he knew what a nerd Gabe really is.

As Gabe packs his bags and prepares for a summer of studying logic and poetry, he worries about what Zack would think about his camp for nerds. But, before long, he starts to realize that it’s actually pretty cool to be a nerd.

Anyone who’s ever felt like a nerd will be able to relate to the characters in Nerd Camp. It’s tough being a smart kid—to be interested in math or science or reading when everyone else is interested in sports and video games. And it’s no wonder that Gabe feels totally uncool for spending the summer studying—especially when he wants so desperately to be liked by his cool new step-brother. But, with some help from his nerdy new friends, Gabe eventually learns some valuable lessons about how fun (and even cool) it can be to be a smart kid.

The kids at SCGE may not be the most popular kids at their schools, but they’re a whole lot of fun to read about (much more fun than some plain old popular kid!). Weissman populates her camp with all kinds of eccentric characters—like Wesley, who solves problems in his sleep, or Nikhil, who’s afraid of almost everything. And though they may be super-smart (in fact, they often seem a bit too smart for their age), that doesn’t mean that their summer camp adventures are dull. Sure, they spend their days learning about science or logic or math—and they even spend their free time doing things like memorizing the first 20 digits of pi—but they also go kayaking, deal with girl troubles, eat bad camp food, and participate in the annual Color Wars. And their crazy camp adventures make Nerd Camp a fun read for nerds of all ages.

If you know a brainy young bookworm who could use some fun summer reading, pick up a copy of Nerd Camp. Not only is it a fun story filled with quirky characters, but it’ll show your favorite smarty-pants that it’s okay (and even cool) to be a nerd.

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