At times all kids struggle with feeling comfortable with who they are. It is hard at any age to not worry about what other people think of you. Books can be a great place for kids to go, to see how to deal with these struggles. Recently, my fourth graders and I discussed times in our lives where we were worried more about what others thought about something, then what we thought about it. That great discussion came from our reading of Dotty by Erica Perl.
Nerd Camp by Elissa Weissman is a MG novel of a boy that struggles with being a nerd. Ten-year-old Gabe is a nerd. 100% dweeb. Gabe even likes being a nerd, until he meets his super cool soon to be step brother, Zach. Gabe has always wanted a brother, and now he feels like he needs to be more like Zach and less like Gabe.
Right after meeting Zach, Gabe spends 6 weeks at a summer camp for gifted kids. This camp is everything you would expect from a nerd camp: math, writing, science. Gabe, absolutely loves camp, but is contently struggling with what to tell his soon to be step-brother about his experiences.
This would be a nice read for any young reader trying to figure out how to be different, and an even better book for “punks” giving kids are hard time for being different.