As I sit here writing this post, my daughter Hannah is at summer camp. We have received two letters from her and thankfully she starts both off with “I love camp!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m NOT homesick!!!!!!” I’m a big fan of the hilarious new book P.S. I Hate It Here: Kids’ Letters from Camp, a collection of letters from kids living the nightmare wonderful camping experience. They borderline crazy and funny and laugh-out-loud pleas to rescue them from camp. We live next door to a big crazy summer camp, so this book really hit home with me!
OK, my crazy readers…. lets have some summer fun and throw a giveaway party!! I loved the book soooo much I did something kinda crazy. (you know me) I contacted the author, Diane Falanga and guess what… she emailed me back! Seriously, I’m just a little giddy to say the least! I told her I was going to have a giveaway and shout out to my mom readers about her new book. She graciously contacted her publisher and I received 2 books in the mail- just for you!!!
Just leave me a comment – that’s all you need to do to enter.
2 Winners win:
A brand new copy (from the publisher!!) of P.S. I Hate It Here: Kids’ Letters From Camp. This is a fun book for parents and kids to read & laugh out loud together!! I will randomly pick 2 winners later this week.
Also, you can share with me your own summer camp stories- the crazy memories you cherish or something your kids did or said to make you gulp! You can even share an actual ‘Kids’ letter from camp.’ I want to hear and so does author, Diane who will peek at all the comments you leave!
More than 150 letters cover all the imaginable scenarios of sleep away camp, from acing the cabin lice inspection, to rowing in the “ricotta” race, to breaking the bad news about a retainer lost in the wilderness. These letters reveal that kids are wittier and more sophisticated than we might assume, and that the experience of being away from home for the first time creates hilarious and lasting memories.
Meet Author Diane Falanga
P.S. I Hate It Here: Kids’ Letters From Camp is a humorous look at homesick kids during summer camp. These real letters are laugh-out-loud funny – everything from forgotten necessities (a strapless bra, five bucks for a lost tooth, a tennis racket) to desperately pleading their case for going home. Factio caught up with North Shore author Diane Falanga to talk about her inspiration for the book, her favorite moment working on this project and her favorite places in Chicago.
FACTIO MAGAZINE: Tell us about the book!
DIANE FALANGA: When my daughter, Bianca, was 8 – she was determined to go to overnight camp. My husband and I thought she was too young – but she was very convincing and presented a seemingly rational case. So, we shipped her off! Then the letters started to arrive. The first one was a hilarious, hyperbolic rant about how the counselors had made her “scraper, sweeper and maid” b/c she couldn’t stop crying. I found this so funny that I instantly started calling friends to read them Bianca’s letter. Everyone seemed to have a camp letter of their own to top this one. An idea was born.
FM: What did you love most about the project?
DF: Reading through the more than 3,000 camp letters I collected from kids around the country. Sharing some of the gems aloud with my 16-year-old son, Blake, Bianca and my husband, Mark. The letters made for great dinner conversations.
FM: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
DF: In the case of P.S. I Hate it Here! Kids’ Letters From Camp — definitely from my daughter.
FM: What are your favorite places in Chicago?
DF: We live a couple of blocks from Lake Michigan and beautiful Gillson Beach. That’s my hang-out.
FM: What are your favorite places worldwide?
DF: Besides fabulous Chicago … Italy – all the way. My husband’s family lives in a little town along the Amalfi Coast, Massa Lubrense. We spent some time with our kids all through Italy last summer. This summer we’ll be back – hiking the Cinque Terra and in Sicily, too. Hiking and mountain bikinig in Moab, Utah is also pretty spectacular. And Telluride, CO – winter, spring, summer or fall – is a favorite place, too.
FM: What are people surprised to know about you?
DF: That I’m so darn short. Having a loud voice and a big laugh gives the illusion of height.
FM: What was your biggest career moment to date?
DF: Initiating the Heart Homes Initiative of Designs for Dignity. We reclaim gently used furnishings for people who are in need in Chicago.
Hannah’s Kamp Pics: