Cover Image: Dad Camp

Dad Camp

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Member Reviews

ad Camp is a beautiful, heartwarming story that will just make you laugh and smile and even cry some happy tears. Avery and John are loveable protagonists that I became invested in from the start. This book evoked warm emotions of my relationship with my Dad, and for once I did not feel the grief of missing him, but the warmth of our memories together. I simply devoured this book overnight. Definitely can see this as a Hallmark or Disney Channel movie.

This book is released on June 11, 2024... just in time for Father's Day. Make sure to support your local bookstore and get your copy.

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I FREAKING love my dad, okay?!!!

When Penguin Dutton reached out offering me an ARC through NetGalley, I didn't look beyond the cover before saying yes. The marketing team couldn't have known that when I was a child, all the dads on my street took all the kids away for a weekend every year so the moms could have time off and we could bond with our dads. This book felt like a love letter to the memory of "dads and kids camping", and I'm so happy I got to read it.

The author writes a fantastic debut novel about worrying about your kids growing up too fast, and kids wanting the space to do exactly that.

This comes out the week before fathers day; buy it for your dad :)

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Thank you NetGalley and publisher for this audio ARC!

What a great book!! I loved the bond between the fathers and the kids. Such a good story!

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This book was a great read. It started strong, got a bit weaker in the middle, but when we got to dad letters it picked right back up. I loved this book - the struggles of fatherhood. I think kids and parents alike would enjoy reading this book

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I really enjoyed reading this book, it had everything that I was hoping for from the description. I loved the bond between the father and daughter. It worked with everything that I wanted and really enjoyed reading this. The concept was beautifully done and how much I enjoyed, it had everything that I wanted based on what was going on. Evan S. Porter does a great job in writing this and glad I read this.

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This was a cute book about a father/daughter relationship. This isn't a book I would normally read, but it was and easy, quick read. There was not much depth. There were times I thought the dialogue was a little silly, but still a decent book.

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What a fun book! So sweet and heart warming and as a new mom I love reading about the father-daughter dynamic!

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This heartwarming book beautifully captures the challenges and emotions of parenting. It reminds us of the bittersweet journey of watching our children grow up while wanting to keep them close. It also touches on breaking generational cycles.
Dad Camp is written from the perspective of John who is the main character/dad. It reads as if you’re having a long friendly conversation with him with bits of flashbacks. The side characters felt very real and relatable.
Overall, it's a quick and touching read for any parent out there! Thank you Nicole Jarvis at Tiny Reparation Books and NetGalley for my copy.

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Dad Camp is a bittersweet story about growing up and what it means to be a parent (especially a father). I liked the author’s honesty and willingness to write openly about the good, the bad, and the ugly of parenting. The nostalgia of the dilapidated summer camp setting gave the whole book a charming quality.

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Is there a genre called dad fiction? Do dads read enough of the same sort of fiction to warrant their own genre, à la women’s fiction? And would dad fiction be for dads, by dads, or simply about dads?

Regardless, Dad Camp certainly qualifies as dad fiction—by which I mean it should be required reading for dads. No, seriously.

Because Dad Camp has a lot of things going for it that dads will appreciate, including relatable characters, uplifting themes, and realistic conflicts, all written in a voice that is funny, compassionate, and accessible. Plus, there’s a real chance it’ll made them tear up once or twice.

John, the book's protagonist, takes his job as a parent pretty seriously. He’s given up friends and careers to support his tween daughter Avery—to be her coach, her chauffeur, her biggest cheerleader—so he’s understandably upset as she starts to pull away. When he signs the two of them up for a week in the woods at “father-daughter camp,” he knows Avery will hate it, but it’s his last chance to repair their relationship before she heads to middle school. When they arrive, though, it becomes clear to John that the camp, full of absentee dads and their resentful daughters, isn’t exactly what he expected.

This premise seems like fertile ground for stereotyping and, indeed, John makes a lot of unfair assumptions about the other dads at the camp—the alpha male, the stay-at-home dad, the father who’s too busy for his daughter. But, as John is forced into several challenges with his bunkmates (some as part of the camp’s programming, some the result of their own shenanigans) and learns the real stories behind these characters, readers will see one of the book’s biggest ideas: that every dad’s story is unique even if their end goal (loving their children) is the same.

Parents (and especially fathers) who read this book are bound to see a lot of themselves (and their children) in these characters. For example, John can’t always see the mistakes he’s making; he’s an unreliable narrator, so will have to make John’s mistakes with him—chasing his daughter instead of letting her wait until she’s ready, or lying to her so that he can hold onto her a little longer—and learn alongside him. But John is funny, relatable, and never frustrating. In many way’s he’s an Everydad, and his easy voice will keep readers rooting for him even when he’s dug himself into a deep hole.

In true-dad form, Dad Camp teaches almost too many lessons—about parenting and masculinity and responsibility, but also taking care of and improving oneself—but, like the best parents, it never comes off as preachy, cheesy, or predictable, making it the kind of book fathers will want to pass back and forth to each other over beers or brunch on those rare occasions that get to reconnect with each other.

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Dad Camp is a beautiful, heartwarming story that will just make you laugh and smile and even cry some happy tears. Avery and John are loveable protagonists that I became invested in from the start. This book evoked warm emotions of my relationship with my Dad, and for once I did not feel the grief of missing him, but the warmth of our memories together. I simply devoured this book overnight. Definitely can see this as a Hallmark or Disney Channel movie.

This book is released on June 11, 2024... just in time for Father's Day. Make sure to support your local bookstore and get your copy.

Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Group Dutton and the author Evan Porter for this ARC (and my first widget!!)

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Any parent whose identity has wrapped around their kids (and, let's face it, that's nearly impossible to avoid) will relate to this story of a dad trying desperately to be there for his daughter as she grows and her needs change. Bittersweet, just like being a parent.

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I'm so sorry, I tried to like this one, I really did. I love opening up my email to be invited to read an ARC of a book. It's always thrilling to be chosen.

I did like the concept and thoughts behind it. But I just couldn't with the dad.

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Dad Camp. Dad Tested. Dad Approved.

John and his daughter Avery are the best of friends. That is, until the summer before middle school when she suddenly seems to want nothing to do with him. Sensing that he has one last chance to fix their relationship before he loses her to the daunting world of tweenagerdom forever, he secretly signs them up for a week of intense father daughter bonding at Camp Triumph. In a camp full of seemingly terrible dads, will John find the help he needs to mend his relationship with Avery or become chopped liver?

I would like to start this review by disclosing that I am not a dad. However, as a person with a dad, I have conducted an observational study for multiple decades and have a pretty good idea of how a dad behaves. That being said, some of John's behavior was highly illogical. He is clearly a flawed character, but it made reading from his perspective very trying. It was understandable that he'd want to bond with his daughter at Dad Camp, and that he wouldn't know how to tell her about it, but sometimes he gave his child too much power. If you don't want your child to join an intense traveling soccer team, you tell them why not and that should be that. Lying to them repeatedly until the problem explodes in your face is a terrible approach that will certainly not improve your relationship with your child. Additionally, postponing an interview because your child is sick, or skipping one guys' night to help your spouse with household maintenance is commendable, but to avoid rescheduling your "dream job" interview and completely cutting off your friends in the name of being a good parent, is not only misguided, but causes a deep seeded resentment towards people who are not responsible for your terrible decisions. You can't live vicariously through your child. You must have some greater purpose. John lacks this purpose and would benefit from real therapy far more than a rundown summer camp. While John does come around (to some extent) near the end of the book, his inner monologue could be quite painful at times.

While I will not be taking parenting advice from John, this was such a unique idea for a novel and you can tell it was written by someone who understands the highest highs and the lowest lows of being a parent. I really appreciated that perspective as it's not one I usually see in the books that I read. I absolutely loved the letters home from all the dads. This was partly because it gave me some respite from John's perspective, but also because it was great to see them have additional complexity and motivations rather than just being a parent. I think it would also be interesting to hear from Avery's perspective on her relationship with her dad.

Overall, this was a unique story whose unlikeable main character was detrimental to my reading experience. If you aren't as easily bothered by flawed characters, this book is a valuable lense into the struggles of being a parent, and you may enjoy it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest feedback.

📦📦📦
3/5 adventure boxes

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This was a really sweet concept and sounded like it could be a fun book. Unfortunately it just didn’t pan out for me. The book begins with a father lying to his daughter and hauling her off to camp in a way that felt like a rehab intervention. Once we got to camp there were some solid attempts by the author to help connect the reader to the story but it just wasn’t enough for me. It honestly felt a bit all over the place. There were some sweet moments and it was a great concept but not a total hit for me.

Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

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Dad Camp is a realistic and heartwarming portrayal of parenthood, the bond between fathers and daughters, and the impending years of middle-age and teenagers.

I related to this book so much, both as the parent of daughters and as a daughter myself. Growing up, my dad and I did everything together. This mainly continued into my teenage years, but we definitely had our moments where I knew we felt each other just didn’t get it. Today, my dad continues to be my biggest cheerleader and my biggest role model.

As a mother, I can certainly relate to Booker, Lou, Ryan, and John in turn. I loved the dad group as a whole, but especially how each represented a different type of father-daughter relationship. While I didn’t always agree with John or his actions, you could not fault how much he loved Avery. I thought the author did a great job of capturing the personalities of the daughters as well.

Lastly, I enjoyed how the fathers examined their own relationships with their parents and how these influenced the relationships with their children. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, easy read, or struggling through your own parenting relationships, I highly recommend picking up this story!

Thank you to Netgalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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2.5/5 stars! Thank you so much for sending me the arc! I think thhe message of this book was important but I just wasn’t a fan. The dialogue was super cringey and I couldn’t relate to the characters very much.

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I wanted to like this one. I have a 10 year old and while I'm her mom, not dad, and am very involved in her life and she continues to want me involved in hers, I can see the day on the horizon when this will no longer be quite as clearly and readily the case. In that sense, I was hoping for a bit of forward-looking nostalgia (if that makes any sense), set against a cute and fun(ny) backdrop of camping (which I'm not a fan of). Unfortunately, what I found felt like it alternated between being just a little too preciously twee and a little too in-your-face about absent parenting - which is not what I expected or what I felt like I signed up for. I found the characters to be rather more caricatures than realistic personalities. The eponymous dad felt like he was constantly saying "but I'm a good dad!!" while ignoring everything his daughter actually said or did or was interested in. It got monotonous and the humor and light-hearted factors that I expected never developed for me. This wasn't a good fit...

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If you're looking for an easy, heartwarming read about the relationship between fathers and daughters, you'll enjoy Dad Camp. John has always been close to his daughter Avery (an only child), but now that she's 11, that's starting to change, and it terrifies him. He decides to enroll them both in a dad-daughter camp--one week away together in the woods. Of course, things don't go as planned! Although I didn't always agree with John's choices, it was clear that he loved his daughter and would do anything for her. I thought the characters were well-drawn, and especially enjoyed John's interactions with the other dads at the camp.

A feel-good story that doesn't ask a lot of the reader, which can be a nice break!

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I was intrigued by this book simply by the title and it was a definitely a good read! I am glad I got to read it thru NetGalley and thanks to the author and publisher. As others have said this is a heartwarming story of a young father facing the impending teenage years of his only daughter and in a desperate attempt to keep his connection he signs them up for a week at yes, you guessed it a camp for dads and daughters.
I enjoyed this novel and think you will too especially if you have daughters.

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