"Beautifully drawn, brutally funny, brilliantly honest. Vera is such a good cartoonist I almost can't stand it." --Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile
In Be Prepared, 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!
Gr 5-8--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 LibraryCopyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
A New York Times Book Reiview Notable Children's Book of 2018
A Boston Globe Best Children's Book of 2018
Selected as the Best Graphic Novel of 2018 by Parents Magazine
"Beautifully drawn, brutally funny, brilliantly honest. Vera is such a good cartoonist I almost can't stand it." —Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile
"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."—Booklist, starred
"The story, both culturally specific and universal, is a welcome addition to the growing canon of comics tales by talented women cartoonists (Raina Telgemeier, Tillie Walden, Zeina Abirached, Cece Bell, and many others) based on their own lives."—Horn Book, starred
"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."—Publishers Weekly, starred
"A gorgeous, emotional memoir worthy of any graphic novel collection."—School Library Journal, starred
"While the culturally specific references will particularly resonate with kids of Russian heritage, the larger story will strike chords with any kid who has ever struggled to find a place to belong."—Kirkus
"There's no real villainy here, just the quotidian slings and arrows carelessly shot by kids more concerned with fun than empathy. That makes Vera a character with appeal to every tween who's ever felt disappointed by peers—or by a fulfilled wish that didn't live up to its bright, shiny promise."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books