Be Prepared
Be Prepared

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Annotation: A misfit girl and her brother attend summer camp, where they struggle with primitive plumbing, snobby tentmates, and boys-versus-girls competitions.
Catalog Number: #165311
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Publisher: Macmillan
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 244 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-626-72445-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1737-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-626-72445-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1737-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017946145
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
Unlike her debut, Anya's Ghost, Eisner-winner Brosgol's second graphic work is a summer camp memoir set in the real world. Without fantasy elements to distract, execution is crucial, and Brosgol delivers. Vera, Brosgol's nine-year-old self, is a wide-eyed Russian immigrant kid desperate to fit in with her suburban classmates. They all go to camp every summer, and when she finds out about a Russian Orthodox camp that her family's church will help pay for, she talks her mother into letting her go. It doesn't take her long to realize that she's wished for the wrong thing. Mean girls, stinking outhouses, and baffling camp traditions make her first weeks miserable. Triumphs come, but not before she undergoes moments of humiliation that are both funny and cringeworthy ("Is that candy?" Vera asks her older tentmates about a pack of maxi-pads). The dialogue rings true, the pace is seamless, and the panel artwork, in woodsy browns and greens, conveys feelings with clean, assured lines. By turns sardonic, adorable, and noble, Vera is a beguiling hero who learns how to recognize who's really on her side. Ages 10-14. Agent: Judy Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Apr.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 58 Brosgol has worked on acclaimed animated films, but she was once a lonely nine-year-old aching for friendship. Here, she relates the story of her monthlong experience at Russian summer camp, where she coped with the horrors of outhouses, feral wildlife, and bug bites, as well as with mean older cabinmates and alienation from her fellow campers. The author/illustrator reprises her cartoony character art and her detailed yet subtle background work. The book eschews the plot-driven and suspenseful storytelling of Brosgol's Anya's Ghost in lieu of a slice-of-life narrative in which problems aren't always neatly resolved. This lends a hard realism to the memoir, in spite of the adorable art style, as young Vera earns small victories and an understanding of herself rather than soaring triumph. The text is simple and accessible, but the relaxed pacing, characters who go often unpunished for cruel behavior, and the brief inclusion of an ill-fated romance set this title apart from more gentle middle grade works. VERDICT A gorgeous, emotional memoir worthy of any graphic novel collection. Matisse Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Vera feels too Russian for her friends in Albany. She can never quite get the hang of sleepover birthday parties, and she'll never have expensive toys like they do. So when she hears about a summer camp just for Russian American kids, she's sure she's finally found her place. But she's much younger than her tent-mates, and possibly e's not Russian enough to fit in. She stumbles over the language, doesn't know all the songs, and generally can't quite get a handle on roughing it. But what's more Russian than suffering? With fantastic pacing and poignant emotional turns, Brosgol's winsome graphic memoir hilariously captures the lengths kids go to in order to fit in as well as the author's growth from a girl desperate for a place to belong into someone confident enough to stand up for herself. Brosgol's pitch-perfect art varies between serene, contemplative snapshot-like images of nature and comedic scenes between Vera rtoonishly drawn with huge, goggle-eyed glasses d her friends and campmates, all of whom appear in a relatively realistic style. Even though it's rendered only in black, white, and olive green, Brosgol's artwork has immense depth, from the facial expressions and gestures to the spot-on visual gags, and she strikes a perfect balance between heartfelt honesty and uproarious, self-deprecating humor. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale's Real Friends (2017), this will easily lodge a place in readers' hearts, even as it has them rolling in the aisles.
Word Count: 7,371
Reading Level: 2.6
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.6 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 195472 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: GN360L
Guided Reading Level: L

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!

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