The Order of the Poison Oak

The Order of the Poison Oak

4.3 15
by Brent Hartinger
     
 

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Book 2 in the Lambda Award-winning Russel Middlebrook Series

"Summer camp is different from high school. Something about spending the night. Things happen."

Russel Middlebrook is back, in a stand-alone sequel to the 2003 teen classic Geography Club (now a feature film co-starring Scott Bakula), and he's off to work as a summer camp counselor with his…  See more details below

Overview

Book 2 in the Lambda Award-winning Russel Middlebrook Series

"Summer camp is different from high school. Something about spending the night. Things happen."

Russel Middlebrook is back, in a stand-alone sequel to the 2003 teen classic Geography Club (now a feature film co-starring Scott Bakula), and he's off to work as a summer camp counselor with his best friends Min and Gunnar. He's sick and tired of being openly gay in high school, and a peaceful summer at Camp Serenity is just what he needs to relieve the stress that comes from being an "out" teenager.

But he doesn't count on sudden new rivalries with Min and Gunnar, or having to chase after a cabin full of unruly campers. And he especially doesn't count on a fellow counselor as hunky as Web Bastion.

Things do happen at Camp Serenity, especially at night. Brent Hartinger's third novel is a story about Indian legends, skinny-dipping in moonlit coves, and the mysteries of a secret society called the Order of the Poison Oak. But more than anything, this witty page-turner is about bravery in the face of unexpected danger, the passion of a sizzling summer romance, and, most of all, the courage to be yourself.

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Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer - Jeff Weinsten
[When I finished the book], I was sniffling and my eyes were moist: It's what's meant by the phrase 'being moved to tears.'...the book is beautifully written, authentic-sounding and smart....all the right traditional values are underscored: honesty, cleverness, generosity, trust. -- Philadelphia Inquirer
Midwest Book Review - Lori Lake
A delight ... funny, touching ... With this third novel from Brent Hartinger, I can see that he is an author who is only becoming more accomplished. -- Midwest Book Review
BookSlut.com - Colleen Mondor
Hartinger is a master at crafting a high school setting, and Russel, Min, Gunnar and all the rest are just great characters ... A brave, bold book. -- BookSlut.com
Kliatt - Book Staff
Lest any of this sounds angst-ridden, it's all leavened by Russel's chatty, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes enthusiastic teen voice. He addresses the reader like one teen telling his story to another, lending the story an immediacy and sense of reality, and his observations can be funny as well as refreshingly honest. -- Kliatt
Lori Lake
A delight … funny, touching … With this third novel from Brent Hartinger, I can see that he is an author who is only becoming more accomplished. -- Midwest Book Review
Colleen Mondor
Hartinger is a master at crafting a high school setting, and Russel, Min, Gunnar and all the rest are just great characters … A brave, bold book. -- BookSlut.com
Book Staff
Lest any of this sounds angst-ridden, it’s all leavened by Russel’s chatty, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes enthusiastic teen voice. He addresses the reader like one teen telling his story to another, lending the story an immediacy and sense of reality, and his observations can be funny as well as refreshingly honest. -- Kliatt

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014053419
Publisher:
BK Books
Publication date:
01/18/2012
Series:
The Russel Middlebrook Series , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
260,782
File size:
368 KB

Meet the Author

Brent Hartinger is an author, teacher, playwright, and screenwriter. Geography Club, the first book in his Lambda Award-winning Russel Middlebrook Series, is now a feature film co-starring Scott Bakula and Nikki Blonsky. In 1990, Brent helped found one of the world's first gay teen support groups, in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington. In 2005, he co-founded the entertainment website AfterElton.com, which was sold to MTV/Viacom in 2006. Read more by and about Brent, or contact him at www.brenthartinger.com.

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Order of the Poison Oak 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 15 reviews.
Lindie_Dagenhart More than 1 year ago
The last book ends with this kid Bryan saving our hero, Russel Middlebrook, from being outted to his entire school. This book opens after Russel has decided to out himself anyway. And lo and behold, people are treating him badly. To get away from it all, he and his two best friends, Gunnar and Min, sign up to be camp counselors for the summer. The first group of campers are burn survivors, and Russel’s cabin are 10 year old little monsters to boot. One of the other counselors in particular catch Russel’s eye. Web is hotter than the sun and gives off mixed signals. Even worse, Min is also interested in him. Then there is Otto, a burn survivor himself. The nice guy to Web’s bad boy. Another prominent new character is Em, a cool, geeky girl that Russel thinks would be great for Gunnar. Only Gunnar has sworn off girls because he only makes a fool of himself in front of them anyway. And he really, really does. Overall, I liked this book a lot more than the first one. Russel can be very sweet, but he can also be remarkably stupid. I love the way he finally won his cabin of monsters over. Russel continues to break the fourth wall, which I found pretty irritating. That said, the writing is nice and light and the story amusing at times. The underlying message is handled a little heavy handed, but I’ve come to expect that from Mr. Hartinger.
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ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
Russ never ceases to delight me with his antics (and side comments to the reader). After joining the Gay-Straight-Bisexual Alliance at his high school, Russ has lost the little social standing that he used to have. Sure, he no longer has to compromise who he is as a person, but it doesn't change the fact that high school life is miserable. That's why, he's delighted to have the chance to escape it all at a camp where no one knows that he's gay. Of course, it's not that easy to hide your sexual tendencies when one of your fellow camp counselors is deliciously hot and you can't stop looking at him. Even more so when you keep running into him (it's kind of hard when you're stuck in the mountains together for ten weeks). I didn't really like Wes (hot fellow camp counselor). He always seemed like the kind to fool around. On the other hand, Otto... there's a real guy. He understands pain and suffering, he has a beautiful voice, and he talks about "nerdy" things like books and all. Another character I adore is Ian, one of the little campers. He's outspoken and drives Russ nuts, but in the end he's a vulnerable little boy looking for truth in the world, looking for evidence that the world isn't all bad. Russ and his two best friends (Min, an intelligent, bisexual Chinese American, and Gunnar, a nerdy, straight Norwegian) all suffered failed romances in the last book. Now, Russ and Min both lust after hot camp counselor Wes while Gunnar has given up on finding a girlfriend for the moment. However, the phrase "summer romance" exists for a reason, and the three friends will find themselves involved in a bunch of drama once more in the name of love. In a way, I'm jealous of their friendship because they can fight with one another and patch things up later. Plus, it's fun to see them get angry over the most outrageous reasons (it doesn't feel like it in the moment for them, but they'll probably laugh over these matters when they're older). I enjoyed seeing the friends in a new and different setting. Russ and his friends learn more about love and different kinds of struggles while interacting with their first group of campers. Again, there are some suggestive scenes, but they are kept clean and can be read by middle-grade readers in addition to older readers who enjoy some good humor.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i loved this book i loved this book i loved this book!!!! It was such an get-to-the-point book.There were no intteruptions and distractions about what the plot was therefore it was really easy to under what Russel"Russ" was going threw experiencing his job as a camp consoler. The best part is when they finaly kiss. It was sooooo cute!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Russel 'Russ' Middlebrook is a sixteen-year-old who has recently come out of the closet and announced that he is gay. His best male friend, Gunner, is straight and very intelligent. Russ's best female friend, Min, is bi. Summer break has just begun. The three are going to be summer camp counselors. But they have no idea just how wild things will get. The ten-year-old kids they are in charge of are wild, hyper, burn survivors. It's going to take a lot to win their trust. ......................... During this time, Min and Russ have their eyes on the same guy, Web, one of the other camp counselors. As for Gunner, he wants to forget girls for awhile. No relationship or tangles. However, he has met his summer match with Em. ..................... **** Most of the book is set during the first two weeks of being counselors. The kids are used to being stared at and ridiculed, so of course they are going to test the counselors' limits. I have friends who are gay, les, and bi, so this tale made me feel as though I was getting a glimpse into their past lives. They HAD to of been through the pressure these three friends are going through. What KEPT me reading, though, were the burn survivor kids! These are some special kids! Of course, they are brats at first. (Gotta test the adults, you know.) This is not my type of book, but even so, I really enjoyed the novel. Terrific read! ****
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked Geography Club a lot. I liked this book even more! Now Brent needs to write a sequel to the sequel!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was incredible. It can work as a stand alone, but it is an amazing sequel to 'Geography Club.' Brent Hartinger has a gift and his writing is that gift. It's truly inspring and so many emotions are provoked by the words in this book. It's a great story from start to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series and when iread geoography club i was amazed that someone could make such a emotional book (that's a good thing.) Then came the second book and i was starting to tear up up at the end. I can't wait to get the second book.