{Review} BE PREPARED by Vera Brosgol

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

(Page 4, US paperback edition)


Be PreparedI am not always the biggest fan of graphic novels. Oh I love the art work and I am a big believer that there is just as much storytelling to be had but my brain just typically prefers to cling to words, to form my own imagery based on the paragraphs on the paper.

BE PREPARED was a definite exception to the rule. I squealed. I pouted and my eyebrows furrowed with concern. I laughed with foresight and the knowledge that hijinks were fast approaching. I think it has to do with the fact that story is just so understandable.

As much as it is Vera's story, with vibrant pictures and heart throughout, it was so easy to attach it to my own experiences; I was rife with memories of moments I felt invisible, times where I thought an experience was horrible but it ended up shaping me wonderfully, and those times where I learned the hard way that friends that only like you when you're giving them something are not worth the work. Vera's experiences at summer camp are something that all children go through at some point, in some way, and watching her learn and grow and find a confident sense of self gave me such readermom pride.

You know, when the characters are so precious you feel like they've become your book child and you need to protect them and root for them. It's not often that a graphic novel moves me to that place, but this one did. It's a fast, sweet, nostalgia tinged read and with the end of the summer fast approaching it just might make you want to get out there and have your own camping adventure.

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: G  ( There's one seen that depicts kissing, but it's super G )
Language: -
Violence: --
Other:  --

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This isn't my favorite cover in the universe, but it's cute and fun. The flies flitting around Vera's head, the way she's separated from the other kids and looking overwhelmed and baffled gives a good sense of the storyline. I also really loved how the title is made out of branches.

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Vera Brosgol
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Publisher: First Second
Received: For Review

A gripping and hilarious middle-grade summer camp memoir from the author of Anya's Ghost. 

All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp. 

Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares! 

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Cece Bell, and Victoria Jamieson, Vera Brosgol's Be Prepared is a funny and relatable middle-grade graphic novel about navigating your own culture, struggling to belong, and the value of true friendship.