Summer means that it is time to delve deeply into your passions and spend a few weeks immersed in your favorite topics at summer camp. As teens flock to soccer camps, language camps, and space camps, here are some books for teens headed to art camps.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (2000 Printz Honor) is about expressing yourself. After ending her 8th grade summer with a traumatic event that’s shrouded in mystery until the final few chapters, Melinda is an outcast at her new high school. Unable to talk openly with her ex-friends and unwilling to talk to her teachers, Melinda’s only way to communicate is through her art class. Melinda’s art reflects her inner emotions: confusion, depression and feeling lost. By the end of 9th grade, Melinda has begun to tell a story with her drawings and sculptures — and then she is finally able to tell her story.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick): Reeling from the loss of her older (and revered) sister Bailey, gifted clarinetist Lennie is trying to hold the pieces of herself together. One piece of her longs for her sister, and in an effort to fill that empty space in her heart, falls in love with her sister’s boyfriend, Toby. Another piece of her, longing to live and to play, is drawn to the charismatic, musical, and optimistic new boy in town, Joe. The book is also filled with Lennie’s beautiful poems that she writes on bubblegum wrappers, scraps of paper, and cereal boxes, leaving a wake of words behind her.