Posted March 29, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 4 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Camp QUILTBAGCamp QUILTBAG by Nicole Melleby, A. J. Sass
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on March 21, 2023
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / LGBTQ
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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From the acclaimed authors of Hurricane Season and Ana on the Edge, an unforgettable story about the importance of and joy in finding a community, for fans of Alex Gino and Ashley Herring-Blake.
Twelve-year-old Abigail (she/her/hers) is so excited to spend her summer at Camp QUILTBAG, an inclusive retreat for queer and trans kids. She can’t wait to find a community where she can be herself—and, she hopes, admit her crush on that one hot older actress to kids who will understand.

Thirteen-year-old Kai (e/em/eir) is not as excited. E just wants to hang out with eir best friend and eir parkour team. And e definitely does not want to think about the incident that left eir arm in a sling—the incident that also made Kai’s parents determined to send em somewhere e can feel like emself.

After a bit of a rocky start at camp, Abigail and Kai make a pact: If Kai helps Abigail make new friends, Abigail will help Kai's cabin with the all-camp competition. But as they navigate a summer full of crushes, queer identity exploration, and more, they learn what's really important. Camp QUILTBAG is a heartfelt story full of the joy that comes from being and loving yourself.

I am so glad that books like this one are available for middle-grade kids. I thought that this book did an excellent job of addressing issues that young adults might face due to their sexuality or gender identity. I think that anyone wanting to understand these issues better would benefit from reading this book, regardless of age, sexuality, or gender identity.

This story is told from two points of view. Abigail (she/her/hers) recently lost her friends when they learned that she had a crush on a friend’s mom and is eager to go to Camp QUILTBAG where she hopes to meet kids who understand. Kai (e/em/eir) doesn’t really want to go but Kai’s parents want em to go after an incident at school left em wearing a sling. Kai and Abigail form a pact to try to win points for Kai’s cabin and seem to have a special connection.

I thought that this was a fun story filled with a wonderfully diverse cast of characters. I love that the adults in the story were supportive of the campers and were willing to listen to their concerns and make changes when needed. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a story that touches on some of the issues that queer and transgender youth might face.

I received a copy of this book from Algonquin Young Readers.

4 responses to “Camp QUILTBAG

  1. This sounds like a much needed middle grade book! I’m glad it tackles challenging subjects in such a healthy sounding way.