Horse Camp

Horse Camp

4.5 4
by Nicole Helget, Nate LeBboutillier
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In the tradition of A Year Down Yonder, Jack Gantos's Joey Pigza books, and Gary Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars, this brilliant debut novel is realistic fiction at its finest—and a story so funny that kids will eat it up.

12 year-old twins Percy and Penny and their little brother are parked on their uncle's farm for the summer after their mom

See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now

Overview

In the tradition of A Year Down Yonder, Jack Gantos's Joey Pigza books, and Gary Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars, this brilliant debut novel is realistic fiction at its finest—and a story so funny that kids will eat it up.

12 year-old twins Percy and Penny and their little brother are parked on their uncle's farm for the summer after their mom lands in jail (for political reasons) and their minister dad runs away to Hawaii with his pretty (unfortunately for Percy and Penny) accountant. Cranky and rebellious, brother and sister 1. Survives a tornado (him) 2. Climbs a windmill to get cellphone reception (her) 3. Gets kicked out of the house and has to sleep in the barn (him). 4. Sends money to Africa (her) 5. Turn 13 (both) 6. Grow up a little (both) 7. Try to understand each other (well, mostly).

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old twins Penny and Percy and adopted brother Pauly are spending the summer on their Uncle Stretch's farm while their parents try to straighten out their messed-up lives. Their parents imaginatively refer to this summer vacation as "Horse Camp," but the horses are mean and the farm is much dirtier than any camp. Sanctimonious Penny, who relates her story through letters and a diary, hasn't fallen far from her father's tree--he's a money-focused missionary Bible thumper with a heart that's definitely not made of gold. Percy is less judgmental but viciously bullies preschooler Pauly and whines unpleasantly about any work he's forced to do; he relates his side in alternating first person chapters. Both of them are trying to come to grips with their mother's impending incarceration for illegally distributing medications to poor people in an attempt to alleviate their misery. Although both preteens are annoyingly obnoxious, the good will that surrounds them--in the form of earthy Stretch, his loving if sometimes unsophisticated girlfriend Sheryl and her cheerful, forgiving daughter June Bug--gradually alters their attitudes and results in a believable dual coming-of-age tale. While Penny and Percy are easy to dislike, it's nonetheless oddly amusing to watch their evolution into more decent people, especially since readers have the fun of viewing the change from the pair's richly biased viewpoints. (Fiction. 10-15)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Percy and Penny Pribyl, 12-year-old twins, are having a rough summer. Their mother has been arrested for distributing prescription drugs to the poor without a license, and their father is too preoccupied with growing his Christian ministry to care for the children. Along with their adopted younger brother, Pauly, the twins are sent to live on Uncle Stretch's farm in rural Minnesota. Even though their mother said the farm is a fun-filled place with "bunches" of horses to ride, Penny and Percy find that the farm has lots of chickens and pigs, but only two horses: one old, one with a nasty temper. While Pauly charms his way into their uncle's heart, the twins struggle with farm life and the realization that their parents aren't coming back soon. Percy's and Penny's experiences are described in hilarious, first-person narratives that perfectly capture adolescent angst and emotional hyperbole. Penny's story is told through letters and a diary in which she comes off as a sanctimonious hypocrite. Percy is no better. He constantly complains and treats his siblings poorly. His troubling exchanges with Pauly are peppered with racist undertones ("At least I'm an American citizen!"). Unlikable at first, the siblings gradually redeem themselves through their interactions with Stretch; his kind girlfriend; and her chirpy daughter. In the end, Uncle Stretch's "horse camp" heals the twins by defining the true meaning of "home" and what it is to be part of a whole family again.—Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606843512
Publisher:
EgmontUSA
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
940L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >