Chiggers by Hope Larson
I read this sweet-but-not-too-sweet graphic novel at the same time, and for the same reason (it's a Cybils nominee), as Betsy, Ms. Fuse #8, did, and I pretty much have to say... what she said.
Is that a cop-out? Yeahhh... but no! She just happens to have written just exactly what I'd've written (except, hrm, more words, 'cause of the part about me being lazy and sometimes being content to just go like, "ME LIKE," and I guess you'd have to say this current review would be an example of that).
Except that, unlike Betsy, I do have some memorable summer camp experiences, both as a camper, at Girl Scout camp and orchestra camp (I played oboe) and, if I'm not mistaken, some G&T camp where we read Walden Two and discussed behavior modification... and as a counselor, at a beautiful hippy-dippy camp up in Maine where I taught candle-making and fencing to Manhattan preteens wearing Echo and the Bunnymen t-shirts (in 1984). And reading Chiggers took me right back to camp, especially to Maine, and I found myself trying to remember the names of the girls in my cabin: tall Allison, shy Betsy, bubbly Deenie, and a girl we called Titsy, whose personality traits you may intuit all on your own.
Chiggers is terrific that way - the art, the plot, the characters all ring true. Even the trees look just right. Why, I remember the morning I found a dead mouse in a trap, and since I didn't have my glasses on I had to bring it right up to my face to see what it was, and then... but I guess that's a story for another blog.