Stephanie (aka Slimey) and Bobby (aka Smelly) learn a lot about relationships in this quirky debut novel, first in the Camp Rolling Hills series. Twelve-year-old Slimey has been a camper at Rolling Hills every summer for as long as she can remember, and she loves almost everything about it. Smelly feels like he has been thrown to the wolves, sent to camp so his parents can work out their marital problems. Moreover, he has to keep "Bizarro Bobby" ("the name he'd given to his anxiety, after Superman's Bizarro") in check, hidden from his welcoming and eclectic bunkmates. Slimey senses a connection with Smelly when they talk, especially after she discusses her father's recent death. When an epic miscommunication complicates the tenuous relationships Smelly has formed, he must rise to the challenge in order to make things right. Spot-on combinations of sweet adolescent romance and teenage angst round out an engaging summer read with plenty of energy and originality to keep kids tuning in for more. Available simultaneously: Crossing Over.
Ages 8–12. Agent: Erica Rand Silverman, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)