Moon Madness

HarperCollins. (Camp Sylvania: Bk. 2). May 2024. 256p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063347267.
Gr 4-7–Murphy is back with a second spooky camp adventure, this time cowritten with Maldonado. Camp Sylvania is being run this summer by Hippie Dippie Luna Lupowski, who promises new and returning campers the joys of "living naturally," much to the dismay of campers whose acne creams and deodorants are confiscated. Veteran campers Maggie and Logan are psyched their friends Nora and Jesse are attending, but Nora seems more interested in crushes and clothes, and Jesse quickly disappears from camp altogether. Something weirdly paranormal is happening, with campers disappearing and others displaying wolflike qualities. Maggie and Logan take it upon themselves to begin sleuthing while enlisting the help of the camp ghost, Howie Wowie. The authors weave the awkwardness of first crushes, acne breakouts, and puberty into their fast-paced spooky story, rich with witty language and humor. Family and friend dynamics are addressed well, with siblings, stepparents, and friend jealousies resolved satisfactorily. Middle grade readers will easily find characters and situations to identify with and will revel in this campy romp.
VERDICT A speedy but satisfying read that should appeal to a wide range of readers who want the perfect combination of scary, clever, funny, and quick.

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