Summer Sleep-Away Book Review & Giveaway


About Summer Sleep-Away

Summer Sleep-Away is a tale of a young boy’s first summer going off to sleep-away camp. Far from home, separated from his family and not knowing a soul, Mattie Kleinfeld is scared, homesick and cries himself to sleep. But soon the tears give way to new friends and fantastic adventures. Mattie goes hiking and fishing. He sails and swims and participates in team sports. But it is not the canoe trips or the overnights that set this summer apart; it is not even his first girlfriend. It is a clue that he and his pals stumble upon that leads them to the adventure of a lifetime, to a vast treasure and to a window that sheds light on Mattie’s unique background.

Review of Summer Sleep-Away

We first meet Mattie as he is being shipped off to summer camp for the first time and he is less than thrilled about this. He arrives friendless and feeling as if he doesn’t fit in anywhere. His first few days at camp are rough but then a beautiful thing happens. He begins to make friends. Slowly things start going his way; he begins to grow past his awkwardness, and even manages a few shining moments. He even meets a girl and experiences the thrill of a first love. At the end of the summer he parts way from his new found friends but takes some well-earned lessons with him.

I’ve never been a 12 year old boy, nor have I ever been to summer camp but Summer Sleep-Away managed to take me on a journey that I could relate to and make me long for a camp experience of my of my own. The author was able to bring alive both the angst and the excitement of camp.  I never thought much about sleep away camp but now I feel as if I have missed out on a milestone of some sort. As a mom of kids this age, it also gave me a glimpse into what their summer experiences may be like. I loved watching Mattie grow over the summer as he became more confident in himself and his place in the world. In the beginning of the book, I ached for him and his sadness and wanted to swoop in and give him a hug (sorry, must be the mom in me!). By the end of the book I was routing for him and proud of the young man he turned into, as a true coming of age story should.

It was a quick, uplifting read that I as an adult enjoyed.   I look forward to passing it along to my kiddos because not only does it give them a character they can relate to, it does so in a way that I’m not cringing at my children reading.  There is no foul language, the summer love affair Mattie experiences is a pure and innocent one, and shows the bonds of friendships earned through common experiences.

About the Author

Ofer Aronskind was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and came to the United States at the age of six. He grew up in Little Neck, Queens, on the outskirts of New York City. He attended SUNY Albany then took a year off after college where he spent the year in Los Angeles writing screenplays. The following year he came back to NY to attend St. John’s University School of Law and graduated in 1989. He went to work at the law firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges as a real estate attorney and worked there until 1997. He now lives in Short Hills, New Jersey with his three sons and is a real estate investor. New Jersey resident Ofer Aronskind remembers what it was like to be 12 years old: the challenges of middle school, making new friends, attending summer camp for the first time, having your first crush. By drawing on events from his life, as well as those of his three teenage sons, he has been able to vividly recreate some of life’s most memorable experiences in his young-adult novels.

Ofer’s primary goal is to write books that young adults will want to read. His writing frequently draws upon his own life experiences, as well as those of his sons. His first two books, Summer Sleep-Away and That Same Summer, are loosely based on adventures and anecdotes from summer camp that his family operated in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.

To learn more about Ofer Aronskind visit his website or to keep up with his latest, follow him on twitter and facebook.


It’s the end of summer and because I don’t want it to end, I want to share the gift of Summer Sleep-Away with you. You can enter to win a copy for yourself, your choice of digital or print copy!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary copy of the book for purpose of review as well as compensation for my time.  All opinions are my own.  Links contain affiliate links.


  1. Sounds like a fun book to read. Perfect for those last few days of summer!
    Debra recently posted…Kid Lit: Comic Books For KidsMy Profile

  2. Love that you enjoyed the book and that it evoked a feeling in you. Those are the best kinds of books isn’t it? As I was reading this I was thinking I had never gone to sleep away camp. I’m still not sure I have depending on the definition. I’ve been on a week-long school trip and also a weekend school trip to the Poconos. But, I’ve never been away for a long duration to a camp where I’ve not known anyone at the start. Now as a parent, I’m considering whether my kids will miss out on some kind of childhood experience if I don’t let them go.

    • My kids don’t go away to sleep away camp for the whole summer but they do go for a week with Boy Scouts. They have a chance to learn new things, spend time with their friends, and spread their wings a bit.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your review, I also went from wanting to swoop in at the beginning to being proud of all Mattie accomplished that summer by the end!
    Anna ~ Random Handprints recently posted…Instructions for my husband: Sleep-away camp has all the comforts of home. Even if it sounds like it doesn’t.My Profile

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