Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nerd Camp 2.0 by Elissa Brent Weissman

Nerd Camp 2.0Gable and Zach are stepbrothers, and they couldn't be more different. Gabe loves to learn, likes to do science experiments, and collects element cards from the periodic table. Zach...doesn't. He's sloppy, plays sports, and collects baseball cards. Gabe is returning to his summer camp for smart kids, and he helps Zach convince his mom to let him go to a nearby camp. Everything seems great until a forest fire damages Zach's camp, and they're forced to share the camp for gifted enrichment. This situation doesn't go over well, and it becomes a war between the nerds and the new intruders. Each side uses pranks to "attack" their foes, but the antics get worse. Gabe and Zach slowly become leaders of the two sides, but they're not comfortable with the anger growing among the campers. Will their friendship survive?

This book is the sequel to Nerd Camp, and I recommend it too. You don't need to read it first to enjoy this book. As a former middle school teacher, I appreciate the conflicts faced by some students who like to learn. Some kids are uncomfortable being smart and try to hide it. The main characters capture the internal conflicts faced by these students and the students who don't enjoy school. Zach's character goes through some changes that even surprise himself. The climax of the plot involves cytoplasm and ghost peppers, some of the hottest peppers in the world.

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