Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 14 to 18
- Grade: 9 to 12
From screenwriter Don Calame comes another outrageously funny and raunchy tale of teen boys whose plans go awry — this time, on a survivalist camping trip.
Shy and scrawny Dan Weekes spends his time creating graphic novels inspired by his dream girl and looking out for his mom as she dates every man in the state of California. Then his mom drops a bomb: she and her latest beau, Hank, are engaged, and she’s sending her “two favorite men” on a survivalist camping trip to “bond.” Determined to trick Hank into showing his true — flawed — colors on the trip, Dan and his nerdy germaphobe best friend, Charlie, prepare a series of increasingly gross and embarrassing pranks. But the boys hadn’t counted on a hot girl joining their trip or on getting separated from their wilderness guide—not to mention the humiliating injuries Dan suffers in the course of terrorizing his stepdad-to-be. With a man-hungry bear on their trail, no supplies, and a lot of unpleasant itching going on, can Dan see his plan through now that his very survival depends on Hank?
About the author
Don Calame is the author of the novels Swim the Fly, Beat the Band, and Call the Shots. He is also an accomplished screenwriter who has worked with Marvel Studios, the Disney Channel, Lionsgate, Universal Studios, and Paramount Pictures. Don Calame was born in New York and now lives in British Columbia.
Perfect for the most reluctant of readers, this book is a sure-fire hit.
—School Library Journal
Calame (Call the Shots) utilizes every juvenile humor trick in the book (body odor, flatulence, awkward sex jokes, regurgitation) to draw guilty laughter from Dan’s onslaught of shameful experiences. The result is coming-of-age by way of catastrophe.
Think Gary Paulsen meets Captain Underpants. Technology in the form of a perversely adapted Baby-Real-A-Lot (a lifelike doll that mimics a real baby), scatological and reproductive humor, and teenage boy sexual fantasies team up with tense backwoods situations to create a perfect middle-school read. Be prepared for lots of in-the-stacks snickering.
Calame’s Dan vs. Nature is sophomoric humor at its best. Tear-inducing guffaws abound on nearly every page. Both Dan and Charlie’s characters are beautifully fleshed out and perfectly complementary. Calame’s writing makes the reader a trio in their shenanigans by page five...Readers will need to know how things turn out for the friends they share so many laughs with.
The heavy-duty grossness, bawdy jokes, and the sesquipedalian banter between Charlie and Penelope make for a boy-friendly, nerd-friendly comedy that is more than a few notches above realism but never tips over into straight-up fantasy. The heartfelt confessions are not overly heartfelt, keeping any hint of sentimentalism at bay while acknowledging that there are good men out there who are worth a chance. This is thus the next step in the developmental sequence that tracks from Captain Underpants through the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Guys Read series.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
For readers who like their stories laced with gross-out humor and teenage boy hi-jinks peppered with sexual situations, this book will fit the bill...the book's humor is infused with real growth and the characters are likable.
—School Library Connection