Winnie is packing to go to overnight camp for the first time. But she won't be on her own - her two best friends, Zoe and Vanessa, are coming with her. Winnie's not too sure about going to camp, even so, but her father assures her she's a natural born camper, and she'll have a wonderful time.
Having two best friends is usually great - there's more fun to go around, for one thing. But there's always the risk of the best-friends group getting split up. What if Zoe and Vanessa are put in a different cabin from Winnie? That would be awful. Winnie's fears are realized, and the three friends are dismayed when Winnie is, in fact, placed in a different cabin. But when Winnie sees the cool things her cabin-mate has brought, including horse-show ribbons and other horse-related paraphernalia, Winnie thinks that it might just be fun to be on her own and meet someone new.
Her new roommate is great, and Winnie expands her circle of friends. But in her delight at suddenly being with people who have no preconceptions of her, Winnie takes a few...liberties...with the truth about herself. When a new friend admires her artwork, asking her where she learned to draw that way, Winnie says, "From my mother." Her mother had artistic talent, but she died when Winnie was little. Wanting to feel what it's like to actually have a mother, Winnie tells everyone her mother is a famous artist. One lie leads to another, and Winnie begins avoiding Zoe and Vanessa, who know everything there is to know about Winnie's life - but Parent's Day is coming, and when Winnie's dad gets there, the truth is certainly going to come out.
This is a great book for kids about to embark on their own first-time summer camp experiences, as well as those who enjoy books about friendship and relationships. Winnie is an endearing character, and readers are sure to identify with her struggle to come to terms with the things she wishes could be and the way things actually are.
Books in the Winnie series:
1. Winnie Dancing on Her Own
2. Truly Winnie
3. Winnie at Her Best
Truly Winnie by Jennifer Richard Jacobson; illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)