Effie and her sister live in Texas with their divorced mother. Their father is serving time in prison for stealing a large sum of money and Effie feels as though her family is doomed to be labeled misfits because of this. When Effie's school plans the annual fourth grade trip to Camp Wikitawa, Effie is beside herself with excitement. She even plans to get the Outstanding Camper of the Week award. The excitement begins to wear off, however, when she learns her older sister will be working at the camp during the week as their mother as an opportunity to attend a retreat. Effie's exitement turns to "altitude sickness" when she arrives at camp and begins to feel homesick. Her sister is no help -- Maxey won't even talk to her! With the help of Sister Lucille, the camp director, the counselors and most especially Chica (the caretaker's Down Syndrome granddaughter), Effie loses her altitude sickness and learns to be accepting of her own strengths and weaknesses.
Recommended by Jennifer Altena, Teacher-Librarian.