#tbt: Camp by Elaine Wolf

To celebrate #tbt today, we have the author of Sky Pony’s first YA novel sharing her experience publishing with Sky Pony Press! Check out Elaine Wolf’s post on Camp below!


When my agent called to tell me she had an offer from Sky Pony Press, I screamed so loudly you probably heard me all the way across the country. And when I first spoke with my Sky Pony editor, Julie Matysik, I was over the moon.

Although my husband and I were living in Massachusetts then, I raced down to New York to meet Julie over yummy doughnuts at a place very close to the Skyhorse offices. I knew right away that I would adore working with Julie, who made the publishing process a joyous experience.

When I walked Julie back to the office that day, I had a chance to say a quick hi to Brian Peterson, who designed the Camp jacket. Brian listened to my idea for the cover, and I love what he came up with. I loved, too, the bear hug he gave me that day. I knew right then that Camp was in great, caring hands with my Sky Pony team.

Camp was Sky Pony’s inaugural young adult novel, published in hardcover in 2012. It’s a coming-of-age novel about a high school girl who faces intense bullying at summer camp as she begins to discover the truth about her mother, who holds a dark secret. The tag line on the cover of Camp is Every secret has a price . . . 

Much to my delight, Sky Pony released Camp in paperback in 2015. I was thrilled to be in touch with Julie again as we worked on that edition.

Being a Sky Pony author is even better than I thought it would be. Whenever I pass a bookstore, I run in to see Camp on the shelves. I still can never resist taking a photo of my novel wherever I see it. (Yes, I know that’s nerdy!) And I love hearing from readers who want to bring Camp to their schools and book clubs.

I’m still excited that Camp appeals to readers from ages 12 to 92. (Really, it does.) I speak about Camp at middle schools and high schools, and I’ve been contacted by program directors at senior assisted living facilities who want to bring Camp to their residents. How amazing that my young adult novel has crossed into the adult (and much older adult) community.

What makes me especially happy, though—even more than the awards and accolades that Camp has garnered—is that Camp has given me a literal bully pulpit, a platform from which to keep anti-bullying conversations going so that, in concert with professionals, we’ll make our camps and schools kinder, gentler, more inclusive places for everyone.

I’m so grateful to Sky Pony Press for publishing Camp and for cheering me on. If you haven’t yet read Camp, I hope you’ll read it now. I hope, too, that you’ll visit my website: authorelainewolf.com.


Camp by Elaine Wolf

51Nj+rvctpL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Amy Becker’s mother holds a dark secret. In fact, her whole past is a secret. All Amy knows is that her mother came from Germany — and that her mother doesn’t love her. That icy voice. Those rigid rules of how to eat, dress, walk, talk, and think. No matter what Amy does, no matter how much she follows the rules, she just can’t earn her mother’s love.

But everything changes that summer of 1963, when fourteen-year-old Amy is sent to Camp Takawanda for Girls. Takawanda, where all the rules get broken. Takawanda, where mean girls practice bullying as if it were a sport. Takawanda, where Amy’s cousin unveils the truth about Amy’s mother, setting in motion a tragic event that changes Amy and her family forever.

Winner of the Forward National Literature Award and a book-of-the-month pick by the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (New York), Camp is widely recommended by librarians, teachers, and book clubs (adult groups as well as teen). It’s an acutely sensitive and compelling novel about bullying, family relationships, and the collateral damage of secrets. The paperback edition includes discussion questions and a conversation with the author.

Elaine Wolf, an award-winning author, was a reading/language arts specialist and school district program administrator. As the daughter of a German immigrant, and as a former camper and camp counselor, she writes of a world she is passionate about and knows well. With an exceptional reputation as “the anti-bullying novelist,” she shows what happens behind the closed gates and doors of camps and schools. Learn more about Elaine at authorelainewolf.com.

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