Some families go camping in the summer and some kids go away to summer camp. In the current summer, some of these activities will be different. But there is still fun to be had. Here are some stories that celebrate the silly and the fun aspects of camping outdoors. Some of the great stories below feature campfires, sleeping under the stars, hiking, and maybe even s’mores!
*All book descriptions are from the publisher
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look
Here’s the second book in the beloved and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers.
Alvin, an Asian American second grader who’s afraid of everything, is back, and his worst fear has come true: he has to go camping. What will he do, exposed in the wilderness with bears and darkness and… pit toilets? Luckily, he’s got his night-vision goggles and water purifying tablets and super-duper heavy-duty flashlight to keep him safe. And he’s got his dad, too.
Fred and Ted go Camping by Peter Eastman
Fred and Ted—beloved canine stars of P. D. Eastman’s Big Dog… Little Dog—are back in an all-new Beginner Book written and illustrated by P. D.’s son, Peter Eastman! In this story, Fred and Ted go camping, and as usual, their uniquely different approaches to doing things (such as packing equipment, setting up camp, and fishing) have humorous—and sometimes surprising—results. A charming introduction to opposites that beginner readers will find ruff to put down!
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
In Be Prepared, all Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.
Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!
Spy Camp, the second in the Spy School series by Stuart Gibbs
In this follow-up to the Edgar-nominated Spy School, top-secret training continues into summer for aspiring spy Ben Ripley—and so does the danger.
Ben Ripley is a middle-schooler whose school is not exactly average—he’s spent the last year training to be a top-level spy and dodging all sorts of associated danger. So now that summer’s finally here, Ben would like to have some fun and relax. But that’s not going to happen during required spy survival training at a rustic wilderness camp, where SPYDER, an enemy spy organization, has infiltrated the spies’ ranks. Can Ben root out the enemy before it takes him out—for good?
A Clatter of Jars by Lisa Graff
In this magical companion to the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, it’s summertime and everyone is heading off to camp. For Talented kids, the place to be is Camp Atropos, where they can sing songs by the campfire, practice for the Talent show, and take some nice long dips in the lake. But what the kids don’t know is that they’ve been gathered for a reason—one that the camp’s director wants to keep hidden at all costs.
Meanwhile, a Talent jar that has been dropped to the bottom of the lake has sprung a leak, and strange things have begun to happen. Dozens of seemingly empty jars have been washing up on the shoreline, Talents have been swapped, and memories have been ripped from one camper’s head and placed into another. And no one knows why.
With a camp full of kids, a lake full of magic, and a grown-up full of secrets, A Clatter of Jars isa story of summer, family, and the lengths we go to win back the people we love.
Summer at Meadow Wood by Amy Rebecca Tan
Vic Brown did not want to go to camp this summer.
Even though it’s nice being back with her friends at Meadow Wood, Vic still can’t forget about the secret reason her mom wanted her and her brother out of the house—or how much her family is going to change. When her home life is blowing up, it can be hard to focus on campfires and canoeing.
But there is something about summer and surprises that go together like blueberry pancakes and maple syrup. And soon, Vic starts to feel like—just maybe—a summer at Meadow Wood was exactly what she needed.