Title: Camp QUILTBAG
Author: Nicole Melleby and A.J. Sass
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary, LGBTQ
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: March 21, 2023
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.
Twelve-year-old Abigail (she/her/hers) is excited to attend Camp QUILTBAG for the first time. It’s an inclusive two-week long camp, where she can finally be herself. After her crush on her friend’s mom was discovered, she was teased by her friends. She hopes to discover some new friends with similar interests. Thirteen-year-old Kai (e/em/eir) is reluctant to attend Camp QUILTBAG. E would rather stay at home with eir best friend. After an incident at school left Kai with a dislocated shoulder, eir parents thought it would be a good idea to meet kids like em. Both kids went to the camp for different reasons, but learned to accept their true identities.
This was such a sweet story about an LGBTQ+ inclusive camp. I didn’t realize until I began reading that the name QUILTBAG is made of many of the letters in the LGBTQ acronym, though it left out some identities. The leader of the camp acknowledged that they should come up with an even more inclusive name. I liked the gender neutral pronouns that Kai used. Those pronouns were much easier to read than the gender neutral pronoun “they,” which can be confusing to read as it gets mixed up with the plural pronoun “they.” There was a wide variety of different gender identities and sexualities represented in this story. Every child at the camp came from a different background and experience but they were all accepted at the inclusive camp.
Camp QUILTBAG is a great LGBTQ+ middle grade story!
Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for sending me a copy of this book!
What to read next:
In the Role of Brie Hutchens… by Nicole Melleby
Have you read Camp QUILTBAG? What did you think of it?