Want to get your kids in the the spirit of summer camp? Here are some books for kids — and a bonus book for parents — about life away from home. Even for those who aren’t attending camp, these also make great just-for-fun, adventurous reads.
The Night Before Summer Camp
By Natasha Wing, illustrated by Mindy Pierce
If your first-time camper doesn’t know what to expect, have him or her take a journey through this reassuring story that will hopefully calm any jitters about summer camp.
Children’s Nature: The Rise of the American Summer Camp (American History and Culture)
By Leslie Paris
For your little history buffs, this is a good introduction to the history of the U.S. summer camp. It provides an opportunity to view the decades of camp experiences and why it’s important to continue the tradition.
Luciana (American Girl: Girl of the Year 2018, Book 1)
By Erin Teagan, illustrated by Lucy Truman
In this first book in the series, Luciana is going to Space Camp. She learns the meaning of being a leader and how to be a good crew member that will help launch her team to success.
Cam Jansen and the Summer Camp Mysteries
By David A. Adler, illustrated by Joy Allen
This book series follows Cam Jansen, a super-sleuth and mystery solver. Cam and her best friend, Eric, are spending three weeks at Camp Eagle Lake. It’s a summer filled with swimming, sports, canoeing, making new friends, and solving mysteries.
Summer Camp Adventure (Keystone Stables series)
By Marsha Hubler
Skye and her friend Chad work as teen counselors at special needs Camp Penn’s Woods. When Jonathan Martin, one of the campers who is deaf, and his assigned mount Buddy, a black gelding, disappear into the hills, Skye and Chad have to lead the rescue to find him.
By Mike Lupica
When you’re the smallest kid playing a big man’s game, the challenges never stop — especially when your name is Danny Walker. Now Danny’s heading to Right Way basketball camp for the summer. Old rivals and new battles leave him wondering if he really does have what it takes to stand tall.
Tug-of-War (Summer Camp Secrets series)
By Katy Grant
Chris can’t wait to return to Pine Haven Camp and reunite with her camp BFF Maggie, except for one little snag — this summer, her BFF from home, Devon, is coming to Pine Haven for the first time. When Maggie and Devon meet, it’s hate at first sight, and soon enough Chris is caught right in the middle. How will Chris salvage the summer she’d hoped for without losing both of her best friends for good?
Nerd Camp 2.0
By Elissa Brent Weissman, illustrated by Drew Willis
For Gabe, the equation for summer bliss equals six glorious weeks of rigorous learning immersion at the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment — aka, Nerd Camp. Zack, Gabe’s cool step-brother, was supposed to attend a camp nearby, but in the aftermath of a recent wildfire, Zack’s camp and Nerd Camp will be sharing territory. As these two very different worlds collide, can both camps — and both step-brothers — survive the summer?
BONUS: for Parents
Homesick & Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow
By Michael Thompson, Ph.D.
Michael Thompson, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, lecturer, consultant, and former seventh-grade teacher who provides an insightful look into summer camp benefits for both children and their parents.