When his parents send him to summer camp for the first time, Ethan has just three modest goals. First, to survive. Second, not to be hated. Third, not to be the worst at anything. But these goals turn out to be relatively easy to achieve. He doesn't even mind when his cabin mates nickname him Pinky (after the color of his blanket).
Instead, his real challenge comes in the form of a new cabin mate. Zachary arrives at camp late, surrounded by a cloud of rumors (Did he actually steal a car at his last camp?), and Ethan finds himself intrigued and somehow envious of the new arrival. Zach loves the music of an ancient rock and roll singer called Buddy Holly, and he doesn't even seem upset when he is forced to miss the Big Swim, the legendary camp event where a select few try to swim across the lake and back. Most of all, Zach doesn't seem to care what anybody thinks of him.
Cary Fagan has won the Vicky Metcalf Award, the Jewish Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Book Award, and his books have been nominated for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, the Silver Birch Award, the Norma Fleck Award and the Rocky Mountain Book Award. He is the author of several popular short novels and picture books, including Danny, Who Fell in a Hole and A Cage Went in Search of a Bird (illustrated by Banafsheh Erfanian). The Old World, his recent collection of adult short stories, was published by Anansi in March 2017.
The setting is rich and the characters are interesting and fresh.
We knew he was a bad kid even before he showed up. I didn't know where all the information came from, or even whether it was true. I only knew that there was a lot of it, and none of it was good...