Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
If you are looking for a recommendation for a summer graphic novel for tweens, look no further. This is the second graphic novel for Vera Brosgol, and she is already one of my favorite tween authors. If she is new to you, you might want to check out Anya’s Ghost. Be Prepared, a semi-autobiogrpahical novel, looks at many themes through the lens of a young girl’s first experience at summer camp. The narrator, Vera, is struggling to fit into American culture as a Russian immigrant. Many of her classmates go to fancy summer camps, which sound wonderful, but unapproachable for Vera’s family. When she hears of a Russian summer camp (in her family’s price range!), she imagines fitting in at last and bonding with girls she can identify with. Alas, it is not to be. She is younger than the “cool girls” in her cabin, who are already close friends, and she is not a fan of outhouses. Her letters home are priceless, and are based on her own and her brother’s actual notes to parents. But her artistic talents, gutsy personality, and innate kindness get her through a nightmare summer. The drawings are intriguing, honest, and downright hysterical at times. The dialogue is true-to-life and the pace keeps readers interested. I can’t wait for Molly to read this one so we can talk about it!