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Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire [NOOK Book]

Overview


Jemma Hartman knows that her first summer at beautiful Camp Star Lake is going to be amazing. There will be swimming, sailing, and overnight trips – not to mention her best friend, Tammy, who moved away a year ago. But when Tammy’s cousin, Brooke, decides to come to camp as well, Jemma’s perfect summer starts to crumble. Brooke never laughs at Jemma’s jokes, and she thinks she rules the cabin. She even convinces Tammy to be her sailing partner, sticking Jemma with the camp weirdo. Jemma just can’t understand why...
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Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire

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Overview


Jemma Hartman knows that her first summer at beautiful Camp Star Lake is going to be amazing. There will be swimming, sailing, and overnight trips – not to mention her best friend, Tammy, who moved away a year ago. But when Tammy’s cousin, Brooke, decides to come to camp as well, Jemma’s perfect summer starts to crumble. Brooke never laughs at Jemma’s jokes, and she thinks she rules the cabin. She even convinces Tammy to be her sailing partner, sticking Jemma with the camp weirdo. Jemma just can’t understand why Tammy wants to spend all her time with Brooke. And is it really possible to make new friends but keep the old, like the song says, or does Jemma simply need to let go? Recalling the camp she attended as a child, Brenda A. Ferber offers an endearing look at friendships lost and found.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6

Jemma can't wait for summer camp, where she will be reunited with Tammy, who moved away at the beginning of fifth grade. Then Tammy arrives with her cousin in tow, and Jemma's hopes for a fun-filled summer are dashed. She dislikes Brooke, whose eyes seem to roll whenever Jemma talks, and who insists on partnering with Tammy during sailing instruction. Jemma is at a loss to understand why her best friend has suddenly deserted her. Any child who has ever lost a friend will relate to her inner turmoil. Ferber has drawn a realistic main character who experiences pain and discomfort when Tammy continually rejects her. The plot moves along swiftly, and Jemma's first-person narrative rings true, as do the issues and the camp experience.-Beth Cuddy, Seward Elementary School, Auburn, NY

Kirkus Reviews
For all the tweens who that believe in BFF but find out, to their great disappointment, that it isn't for everyone, this is the book for them. Jemma's best friend Tammy moved away at the beginning of fifth grade but they agreed to spend the following summer together at camp. Unfortunately-and unexpectedly-Tammy arrives with her possessive cousin Brooke, whose parents are caught up in a messy divorce. The only one who can't spot Tammy's altered loyalty is Jemma, who is convinced that she can somehow win back her straying friend. As a counterpoint to Brooke's unpleasant attitude, vanilla-flavored Delaney becomes the always-loyal new friend, who unrealistically bounces back after Jemma's rejections whenever Tammy seems like a better prospect. The emotional turmoil plays out against a lovingly depicted month at summer camp, as Jemma tries and fails, repeatedly, to learn to water ski but shows a nice talent for sailing. Though few children actually get to attend a full month of summer camp, many others will enjoy it vicariously through this somewhat superficial effort. (Fiction. 8 & up)
From the Publisher
“What's so well conveyed here is the ordinariness of Jemma's feelings. She's not noble and grand . . . she's jealous. Ferber renders the ordinary delights of days at camp as well.” Chicago Tribune

“Ferber has a fine ear for preteen dialogue and concerns, and her descriptions of overnight camp activities (especially sailing and waterskiing) will strike a chord with readers.” Booklist

“Ferber has drawn a realistic main character . . . . The plot moves along swiftly, and Jemma’s first-person narrative rings true, as do the issues and the camp experience.” School Library Journal

“This will make a sunny summertime outing for readers.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“For all the tweens who believe in BFF but find out, to their great disappointment, that it isn’t for everyone, this is the book for them.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429947596
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/27/2009
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • File size: 358 KB

Meet the Author


BRENDA A. FERBER’s first novel, Julia’s Kitchen, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers and was praised by Kirkus Reviews in a starred review that raved, “Family bonds, Jewish traditions and overcoming grief . . . are deftly braided in this poignant story.” She lives in Deerfield, Illinois.
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Read an Excerpt


1
Tammy said we’d be best friends forever, and I believed her. I was standing on her driveway, squinting in the August sun. The moving truck had left, and Tammy’s parents and older brother were already in their minivan. Tammy and I did our secret handshake, com­plete with butt bump and shimmy. We hugged and promised to call. Then Tammy climbed into the van, and they drove away. The Eriksons were moving to Chicago, only thirty minutes by car from our life here in Deerfield. But when you were about to start fifth grade, anything farther than a bike ride was another world.
Now, finally, eleven long months later, we were going to reunite. I marked a big red X through July 15 on my wall calendar. Tomorrow morning Tammy and I were heading to Camp Star Lake for Girls in northern Wis­consin. Together.
I stepped around the two lumpy duffel bags taking up most of the floor in my bedroom, hopped onto my bed, and looked at my list of things to remember for the bus.
Toothbrush
Hairbrush
Pillow
Henry Henry Henry!
I rubbed the worn-off spot on my stuffed dog’s nose. It would be fine to take him. On the packing information sheet, the camp said to bring a “bedtime buddy.” Tammy would probably take her baby blanket, and that was even rattier than Henry. If only she would return my calls or answer my IMs so I could be sure. Tammy had been impossible to get ahold of these last two weeks. Tonight her away message said, packin for csl . . . leavin in the morn . . . one month w/ no computer! ahhh!!!! At least tomorrow I wouldn’t have to rely on technology to talk to her.
Even though I’d practically memorized the whole camp brochure, I took it out and studied it again. My favorite picture was of two girls laughing together in a little sailboat with a red, orange, and yellow sail. One of the girls had long blond hair, like Tammy, and the other had straight brown hair, like me. I always imagined it was us in the boat. And riding the horses. And water­skiing. And with all those girls singing around a camp­fire.
I snuggled under the covers but didn’t feel the tini­est bit sleepy. Even the sound of Snowball, my brother Derek’s hamster, tap, tap, tapping on his wheel on the other side of the wall didn’t calm me the way it normally did. Instead, my mind was racing as fast as his tiny feet. I hoped camp would be every bit as awesome as I’d imagined.
I listened to Mom and Dad turn on the dishwasher, turn off the lights, and head toward my room. They came in and gave me an extra-long sandwich hug. Mom smelled like fabric softener, and Dad like a Hershey’s Kiss. It was a good thing Derek was too young to go to overnight camp. Otherwise Mom and Dad would be really lonely this summer. “Don’t worry,” I told them. “You’re going to be okay without me.”
They laughed, and Dad said, “We’ll try to survive.”
Mom took off my glasses and put them on the end table. “I’m not going to be there to remind you to take these off at camp, you know,” she said.
“Well, maybe I’ll leave them on so I can see my dreams better.”
Mom and Dad smiled, and Dad said, “We’re going to miss you, Jem.”
“I’ll miss you, too.” With a pang in my heart, I real­ized that was true. “One more hug,” I said, and they both squeezed me tight.
After they went to their own room, I still wasn’t sleepy, so I got out of bed, put on my glasses, and looked out my window. The moon was a bright half circle in the sky. It was hard to believe I’d be looking at the same moon from the northern tip of Wisconsin tomorrow night. I wondered if it would look any different. I knew the quicker I went to sleep, the quicker I’d wake up and have this adventure begin. But right then I felt the way I did on roller coasters. I loved scary rides—the faster the better. But I hated that sensation at the top of the first big hill, when you knew there was no turning back.
I searched the night sky until I found a star. Then I closed my eyes and whispered, “I wish that Tammy and I have the best summer ever.” I opened my eyes and looked at the star again. It seemed to be moving. Maybe it was a shooting star! No, it wasn’t a star at all. It was an airplane.
The next morning, in the parking lot of the Strike-n-Spare bowling alley, I climbed aboard one of the two chartered buses and saw that girls were saving spots, and that the seats were filling up fast. I tossed my back­pack and pillow across a pair of seats in the middle of the bus. I figured that was the best position, not too close to the driver, and not too near the bathroom.
Then I headed back out to the parking lot to join my family and wait for Tammy. We were supposed to leave in ten minutes, and she still hadn’t arrived.
“Where can she be?” I asked Mom.
“Probably just stuck in traffic.”
“What if she misses the bus?” Derek asked.
Dad shot Derek a look and draped his arm over my shoulder. “Don’t worry, Jem. They won’t leave without her.”
I took a deep breath and scanned the crowd again. The parking lot was a mishmash of cars and fami­lies, parents drinking coffee and taking pictures, kids squealing and hugging each other, and other kids, first-timers like me, standing uneasily with their parents. One of those girls, a tall, skinny one with frizzy brown hair, waved shyly at me. I started to wave back when an older girl with beautiful long dark curls grabbed her attention. I was in mid-wave, wondering if maybe she hadn’t meant to wave to me in the first place, so I pre­tended to swipe a gnat from my face.
I pushed my glasses up on my nose. The back of my neck was sweaty, so I pulled my hair up into a ponytail. Then I untied and tied my gym shoes, trying to look busy.
Finally the Eriksons’ minivan pulled into the park­ing lot, and relief rushed through me. “She’s here!” I jumped up and down and weaved my way over to Tammy’s minivan.
The door slid open, and Tammy stepped out, wear­ing a handmade I . CAMP STAR LAKE shirt and sporting a short new hairstyle that caught me by surprise. We screamed and hugged each other, and then I asked, “What happened to your hair?”
“I donated it to Locks of Love,” she said. “You know, for kids who lose their hair from cancer and stuff. Do you like it?”
“It’s cute,” I said. “Perky.” I thought about my own hair and suddenly felt guilty for keeping it to myself. Maybe I’d donate it, too.
Tammy stepped aside as another girl came out of the minivan. “You remember my cousin Brooke, right?”
Brooke was wearing a shirt just like Tammy’s. She had straight, shiny brown hair, blue eyes, and freckles sprinkled across her nose and cheeks. “You’re Brooke, from California?” I asked.
She nodded. “The one and only.”
I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, wondering why Brooke was here and why she and Tammy were dressed like twins. “Too bad you’re visiting when Tammy’s leaving for camp.”
Brooke raised her eyebrows at me and gave Tammy a sideways glance.
Tammy said, “Oh my God! I forgot to tell you. Brooke is coming to camp, too. Isn’t that great?”
Huh? I was too shocked to think, let alone say any­thing, but I didn’t have a chance to, anyway. Tammy’s parents and Brooke’s mom were asking them to help with the duffels. My family came up behind me just as Mrs. Erikson shut the trunk, and Tammy and Brooke hurried off with their parents to check in with Eddie Kramer, Camp Star Lake’s director.
“Who’s that girl?” Derek asked.
“That’s Tammy’s cousin Brooke. She’s coming to camp, too.” My voice sounded so normal, which was strange because that was not at all how I felt.
“Really?” Mom said, and I could tell by her face that she was as surprised as I was. “Well, the more the mer­rier, right?”
Eddie blew a whistle and spoke into a megaphone. “Time to go, girls. Say your goodbyes, and let’s hit the road!”
My stomach dropped. Whoosh. The roller coaster was speeding downhill. And all I could do was hold on tight. Excerpted from Jemma Hartman, camper extraordinaire by Brenda A. Ferber.
Copyright © 2009 by Brenda A. Ferber.
Published in 2009 by FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction
is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or
medium must be secured from the Publisher.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2014

    Zo

    Here

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    PIERCE, SNO & MEGHANS BIOS

    ||Pierce|| <p> Name: Pierce Warr <p> Age:13 <p> Looks: Blonde hair, tan and hazel eyes <p> Godly Parents: Demeter and Aphrodite <p> Weapons: two short swords with spikes on the backs <p> Abilities: Plants and Charmspeak <p> Siblings: Brother is Sno. Meghan is sister <p> ••Sno•• <p> Name: Sno Stone <p> Age:13 <p> Looks: black hair with green eyes and a tan <p> Godly Parents: Khione and Hades <p> Weapons: two hooked swords <p> Abilities: Ice snow and darkness <p> Siblings: Pierce is brother. Meghan is sister. <p> <^Meghan^> <p> Name: Meghan Kane <p> Age:13 <p> Looks: red hair and tan and blue eyes <p> Godly Parents: Dionysis and Apollo <p> Weapons: a bow and arrows with a belt of daggets and two short swords <p> Abilities: Hallusinations and vines <p> Siblings: Brothers are Sno and Pierce

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Alexandria

    She walks in hello she wearing a black mini skirt and a white one sholder tank top

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Nicole

    Haha thx

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Curris

    Youre a good snuggkr

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2009

    THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!

    This book was so great and I felt I could really connect to it! I go to a camp REALLY similar to Camp Star Lake, and I think this book could really help a lot of girls with friendship issues. I'm in eighth grade, and even though this book is for a younger audience, I still loved it. I truly felt for Jemma when Brooke was being mean to her. Overall, I thought this book was very easy to relate to. It's a great summer read. I would recommend it to anyone in need of a fun story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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