Camp Creepy by Kiersten White

Camp Creepy (Sinister Summer: Book Three) by Kiersten White. Delacorte Press, 2023. 9780593379127

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Fantasy/adventure/mystery

What did you like about the book?  Have you been longing for a reunion with the Sinister-Winterbottom children? Then you’re in luck because the plucky trio (twins Alexander and Theo, adopted older sister Wil) are back and this time, they’re going to camp. Having successfully navigated the Wretched Waterpark and a vacation in a vampiric spa (and acquiring several items to help them in locating their missing parents), the children must now outwit an onslaught of subliminal advertising. A disgraced ad executive turned camp director has managed to trap Alexander with positive self-talk and (literally) hypnotic tie dye t-shirts; yikes! Suddenly the formerly timid and obsessive twin is eating from a buffet and jumping off a rope swing into the lake! And Wil has forsaken her beloved cellphone Rodrigo and ditched Goth black for bright colors! Luckily, Theo swoops in and saves the day, and together the kids uncover more clues and allies that may help them unravel the increasing number of vanished but loving caregivers. Once again, droll dialogue, sophisticated humor, and genuine unsolved mysteries will keep readers laughing and engaged. Spoiler alert: at the end of this installment, the twins figure out that their loopy caretaker, Aunt Saffronia, is a ghost, which certainly explains her lack of attention to corporeal matters, such as food and automobile safety. The twins present as White while Wil is referred to as having brown skin.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No. Still no maps or illustrations; quite a missed opportunity for some fun.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Those who have already read the first two books will be eager to read this sequel and continue solving the mystery. A good read alike for those who have enjoyed Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events or Pseudonymous Bosch’s The Name of This Book Is Secret series. Given the advanced (but readable) vocabulary and innocent content, this is a good recommendation for younger children who read way above grade level.

Who should buy this book? Elementary, middle schools and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: February 4, 2023

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