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Breakfast Served Anytime
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Breakfast Served Anytime
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A coming-of-age debut evokes the bittersweet joys and pangs of finding independence in one unforgettable summer away at "geek camp." When Gloria sets out to spend the summer before her senior year at a...
A coming-of-age debut evokes the bittersweet joys and pangs of finding independence in one unforgettable summer away at "geek camp." When Gloria sets out to spend the summer before her senior year at a...
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Description-

  • A coming-of-age debut evokes the bittersweet joys and pangs of finding independence in one unforgettable summer away at "geek camp." When Gloria sets out to spend the summer before her senior year at a camp for gifted and talented students, she doesn't know quite what to expect. Fresh from the heartache of losing her grandmother and missing her best friend, Gloria resolves to make the best of her new circumstances. But some things are proving to be more challenging than she expected. Like the series of mysterious clues left by a certain Professor X before he even shows up to teach his class, Secrets of the Written Word. Or the very sweet, but very conservative, roommate whose coal-industry family champions mountaintop removal. Not to mention the obnoxious Mason, who dresses like the Mad Hatter and immediately gets on Gloria's nerves—but somehow won't escape her thoughts. Beautifully told by debut author Sarah Combs, this honest and touching story of growing up is imbued with the serene atmosphere of Kentucky's natural landscape.

 

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About the Author-

  • Sarah Combs leads writing workshops at a nonprofit literacy center in Lexington, Kentucky, where she lives with her two young sons, two pacifist bird dogs, and her modern-day Atticus Finch of a husband, whose acquaintance she first made at a geek camp not unlike Gloria's. Breakfast Served Anytime is her first novel.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 14, 2014
    Combs's debut introduces a vivid, self-aware protagonist at a significant juncture in her life. A sensitive introvert with a penchant for believing in signs, Gloria spends the summer before her senior year on a college campus at a four-week camp for gifted students. There, she enrolls in "Secrets of the Written Word," offered by eccentric Professor X, who challenges his students to leave all "technoparaphernalia" at home, resulting in a very small class of willing participants. Gloria surrenders herself to the immediacy of her surroundings, untethered from social media, immersed in literature, and experiencing independence for the first time. She quickly bonds with fellow students who cause her to question her political, social, and philosophical values, as well as her desires for the future. Infused with romance and intellectual energy, Combs's story eloquently captures the euphoria and transformation that can arise from an intense period of personal introspection. Gloria's Whitmanesque quest for visceral experience is exciting and inspiring, as is her ability to recognize the significance of quiet moments as they unfold. Ages 12âĀ€Ā“up. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-This earnest but patchy debut is as much a love letter to Kentucky as it is a novel about rising high school senior Gloria's transformative summer at "Geek Camp." During her four weeks on the campus of Morlan College, the temperamental and snarky teen grieves for her recently deceased grandmother, makes lifelong friends, has classes at a diner, develops a crush, and ponders her future. After graduation, should she move to New York City with her best friend to pursue acting, or should she accept a full scholarship to the University of Kentucky? The ambitious story is as overloaded as a blue-plate special, tackling racism, death, sexuality, religion, family, mountain top removal, and myriad other weighty topics. Motifs (blue butterflies and To Kill a Mockingbird, to name two) seem more inserted on top of the plot than integrated into it. Readers may find it difficult to get behind Gloria because her character fluctuates so hugely: she's immature enough to hate a stranger because he wears an odd hat but is mature enough to read Henry James and understand T. S. Eliot. However, the author's palpable affection for her state and the sweet-as-Kentucky-pie passages ("the sunlight slanting through the trees was getting soft and syrupy in that way that makes you miss things that aren't even gone yet.") guarantee that Breakfast Served Anytime will have solid regional appeal.-Chelsey Philpot, Boston University, MA

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2014
    Gloria is headed for a summer of Geek Camp, an experience that will transform her. Much like a latter-day Anne of Green Gables, Gloria is acutely aware of the exquisite promise of the moment, and she savors the myriad details of each memorable experience. She carries with her the Gloria Bishop Book of Ephemera, a sort of scrapbook for the detritus that makes memories, from fortune-cookie messages to a four-leaf clover plucked by Mason. He's the most interesting of her classmates at a summer camp for gifted rising Kentucky high school seniors. Only she and three others have chosen the focus of Secrets of the Written Word, overseen by a quirky professor they call X. Together, the lovingly portrayed foursome explores the campus, spends lots of time at a small restaurant that serves breakfast all day and falls for each other as the best of friends--and in the case of Gloria and Mason, more than best friends. Gloria's upbeat attitude, effectively depicted through her often funny, too-quickly-judgmental voice and the ineffable enthusiasm of the campers she encounters, offers a satisfying, thoughtful take on growing up. In a promising debut, Combs crafts a strong, memorable female character and a broad collection of fully fleshed-out secondary players who share a magical summer. (Fiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2014
    Grades 7-10 Geek Camp for talented and gifted Kentucky teens is a life-changing event for Gloria Bishop and her three classmates. During the four-week period, Glo, Chloe, Calvin, and Mason develop a deep bond as they undergo transitions, realizations, and awakenings together, based on the subtle understanding that they are allowed to be themselves with one another. By the end of the term, Glo knows that some of the hardest challenges require the simplest solutions, and she is happily aware that her future may not be limited to what she had once planned. Beautifully drawn characters populate this affecting first novel, each of them real enough to be hug-worthy. It is a story of friendships more than of young love (though a blushing crush certainly fits in nicely), and when a gay character comes out to her friends, it is handled without gasps or fanfare. There is much to be savored in this book for those who want a story about real life and real friendship.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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    Candlewick Press
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