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Tag: Paula Danziger

That Was Then This Is Now: There’s a Bat in Bunk Five

Here I go again, rereading a favorite book from my teen years and seeing how it holds up. This time I’m going to reread Paula Danziger’s There’s a Bat in Bunk Five. The copyright date on my yellowed paperback (which cost a mere $2.25!) is 1980, so it’s over 30 years old, but I swear I still think of this as something kids read. I kind of doubt that’s true, though.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, it’s the sequel to the classic The Cat Ate My Gymsuit (“gymsuit”–that dates the book right there.). Before I start reading, here’s what I remember:¬†the protagonist, newly pleased with her body which is much less plump than it had been in The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, spends a summer being a camp counselor at a sleepaway camp. There she has classic summer camp experiences, including a romance. Surprisingly I don’t remember a lot of details, but the thing that stands out the most to me is that on their days off they could go into town. As a young middle schooler reading this it seemed so mature to me that the teenage girl and her swell boyfriend could saunter around the hippie town (Woodstock?) buying things and being on their own. That seems like a strange thing for me to remember, but overall I remember thinking that being a camp counselor was the coolest thing in the world…

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