Hilarious Letter from Forlorn Campers
Selected and Edited by Diane Falanga
Abrams, $12.95, 160 pages
For many kids, attending summer camp is a rite of passage. Along with tons of fun, comes inevitable feelings of homesickness. For campers on their own for the first time, this sleep-away adventure can seem downright scary. It is no surprise when parents receive that first letter written home from camp. “Dear Mom: I don’t want to stay two weeks. Here are the reasons: 1) I almost drowned in the lake. 2) Kayll did a summersault on my head. Signed your banged up kid.”
To guarantee a tickled funny bone, read P.S. I Still Hate It Here: More Kids’ Letters from Camp, a collection of laugh-out-loud-funny read letters selected and edited by Diane Falanga. Reading these masterpieces will bring back memories of favorite counselors, bunk mates, traditions, Color Wars and s’mores. In letter after letter, children describe “horrible conditions” – uncomfortable cots, bad food, dirty showers, long hikes and biting bugs. Leave it to kids to be able to say it like it is (or how they think it is). With raw emotions and unfiltered thoughts, these little writers pour their hearts out onto a piece of paper that parents have then saved for posterity. Pretty cool. After all the melodrama and angst of writing back and forth, trying to persuade her son to stay at camp, one mom knew things would finally be okay when she received this gem: “I’m having a swell time. Someone copped my flashlight. The food is great, and I changed my underwear.” A mother’s work is done…at least until school starts!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin