Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker
From the author of the highly acclaimed, bestselling novel Pax comes a gorgeous and moving novel that is an ode to introverts, dreamers, and misfits everywhere, ideal for readers aged 9-12. Ware can't wait to spend summer 'off in his own world' and generally being left alone. But then his parents sign him up for dreaded Rec camp, where he must endure Meaningful Social Interaction and whatever activities so-called 'normal' kids do.
On his first day Ware meets Jolene, a tough, secretive girl planting a garden in the rubble of an abandoned church next to the camp. Soon Ware starts skipping Rec, creating a castle-like space of his own in the church lot. Jolene scoffs, calling him a dreamer - he doesn't live in the 'real world' like she does.
As different as Ware and Jolene are, though, they have one thing in common: for them, the lot is a refuge. And when their sanctuary is threatened, Ware vows to save the lot. But what does a hero look like in real life? And what can two misfit kids do?