Congratulations to Kate, the first winner of the Countdown to Camp Contest! Kate will be receiving an autographed copy of JEMMA HARTMAN, CAMPER EXTRAORDINAIRE as well as lots of other fun stuff to use at camp (like pens, stationery, cards, tattoos, etc.) Kate, I hope you have a daughter or niece who goes to camp! Please e-mail me your snail mail address so I can get your prize to you.
Kate's memory of marching around her cabin shouting "Burn them bras!" reminded me of a fun tradition at my camp (Camp Birch Knoll) that I chose not to include in JEMMA HARTMAN. It's called Bra and Underwear Night. One random night each summer, all the girls run around camp in their (you guessed it) bras and underwear. Such fun! It usually ended up in skinny dipping in the lake or dancing on the hill. I remember buying a bra specifically for that event before I even needed to wear one! Our camp was girls only, but there were some male staff members. I wonder why we never felt self conscious about them seeing us like that. I suppose it was because we felt so free at camp, so completely confident and comfortable. Just another example of the magic that is camp.
In other news... JEMMA HARTMAN has been reviewed by Kirkus! They said, "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." And "The emotional turmoil plays out against a lovingly depicted month at summer camp."
This is JEMMA'S first review, and I'm pretty psyched about it because really, is there a tween out there who hasn't been disappointed by a BFF who turns out to not be so F? I think not! Therefore, if you do the math, this book is for EVERYONE! And the whole impetus for writing this book was to lovingly depict summer camp, so I hope this means I succeeded.
It's not too late to enter the Countdown to Camp Contest. I'll be choosing a winner every week until the book comes out. I'd love to get more kids to enter the contest, so please spread the word to young people in your lives. And if you've already entered, there is no need to enter again. Your name might still be drawn.