July/August 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“Murphy delves back into middle grade with her delightful story about a girl who’s forced to go to fat camp for the summer, but things aren’t what they seem. This is a sweet story that’s also filled with lots of adventure and intrigue!”
— Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Marietta, GA
From Julie Murphy, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin', comes a hilarious and creepy middle grade summer camp story that takes a bite out of fat camp and diet culture. Perfect for fans of Spooky Stories and Starfish.
Magnolia "Maggie" Hagen is determined to be in the spotlight . . . if she can just get over her stage fright. This summer, though, she has big plans to finally attend Camp Rising Star, the famous performing arts camp she's been dying to go to for three whole summers.
But on the last day of school, her parents break the news: Maggie isn't going to Camp Rising Star. She's being shipped off to fat camp--and not just any fat camp. She's going to Camp Sylvania, run by world-famous wellness influencer Sylvia Sylvania, who is known for her soon-to-be-patented Scarlet Diet.
When Maggie arrives at camp, things are . . . weird. There are the humiliating weigh-ins and grueling workouts, as expected. But the campers are also encouraged to donate blood--at their age The cafeteria serves only red foods and the oddly specific rules change every day. There are even rumors of a camp ghost.
Despite these horrors, Maggie makes friends and starts to actually enjoy herself. There are even tryouts for a camp production of The Music Man This place might not be so bad . . . until campers start going missing and other suspicious things begin happening--especially after dark. The camp ghost might be the least scary thing about this place. . . .