Be Prepared

Be Prepared

Graphic Novel - 2018 | First edition
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A misfit girl and her brother attend summer camp, where they struggle with primitive plumbing, snobby tent-mates, and boys-versus-girls competitions.
Publisher: New York : First Second, 2018
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781626724457
Characteristics: 244 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Longstreth, Alec


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A misfit girl and her brother attend summer camp, where they struggle with primitive plumbing, snobby tent-mates, and boys-versus-girls competitions.

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SnoIsleLib_LindseyA Dec 10, 2018

What a delight! I can think of many readers who would enjoy this semi-autobiographical graphic novel about a disastrous experience at Russian summer camp. I've always loved Vera Brosgol's style and the coloring in this book is cool (black and white with shades of green). The characters in her story aren't necessarily admirable, even Vera displays mean behavior at times, but that's unfortunately realistic. I cringed at many scenes but there was plenty of humor. This book will likely resonate with anyone who has ever been the awkward outsider, whether at school, at a sleepover, or at summer camp.

JCLShannonG Dec 04, 2018

I loved this graphic novel! It's funny and relatable, with beautiful artwork and witty dialogue.

JessicaGma Jul 23, 2018

A fabulous tale of trying to fit in when you're at the most hopeless, awkward age, with a dash of camping. It's a great tale with brilliant art that completely suits it. Recommended for fans of Smile and Awkward.

ArapahoeKara Jul 11, 2018

A cute, semi-autobiographical tale of a girl trying to fit in at Russian summer camp that captures all the awkwardness of adolescence and the desire for acceptance from your peers. Tweens will relate and see themselves in this excellent graphic novel.

samcmar Jun 15, 2018

I didn't know much about Be Prepared when it was sent to me. I know it was autobiographical and about a summer camp. What I didn't realize, was just how much I would be nodding along to a lot of what Vera did during her four weeks at camp.

I went to summer camp exactly one time, and it was an experience I didn't care for. Part of that was because I struggled to make friends with a lot of the girls there, the other being that I had felt left out a lot of the time. I remember I was going through a lot when it came to my friendships, and that just made going to summer camp a heck of a lot worse.

Vera's story about going to Russian camp hit home with me on numerous occasions because she struggles to make friends and enjoy the activities. She feels constantly left out and when she does try to make friends and connect with the other girls, it backfires in her face a lot of the time. I could connect with her 100% throughout this graphic memoir, and seeing a lot of her struggles reminded me of my own experience. However, there's a lot of fun in this story as well, particularly when Vera begins to not give a crap about the people who have made her feel unwanted. Also when she befriends Kira at the end, you get reminded that some of the worse experiences can often give you the best friendships.

I loved the artwork in this graphic novel. The characters are very expressive, the backgrounds are quite detailed, and Brosgol's art just transports you to the summer camp. I look forward to seeing how the colour treatment is going to look given my ARC was mostly in black and white (which even then it looked fantastic!).

Be Prepared brought up a lot of mixed memories for me, and I think that's why I adored it as much as I did. I felt connected to Vera and I understood where she was coming from in terms of being an awkward kid who just wanted to please others in order to make friends. This middle grade graphic novel is great for anyone who wants to relive their summer camp days, or who just want to have an honest discussion of what it means to accept and love yourself for who you are.

May 12, 2018

I am new to the graphic novel genre; I was pleased enough with the writing and illustrating that I am going to read other such books by this author. I found the included history of Russian scouting and the efforts of immigrants to preserve their heritage very interesting.

JCLAndrewE May 02, 2018

If you went to summer camp you likely had 1 of 2 experiences. Good or Ugly. This penetrating graphic memoir does a fantastic job of capturing both of them. Written for a younger audience, this book is easily accessible to all ages, especially those who've ever found themselves alone in a sea of indifferent peers and fake friends, but found strength in themselves and in the power of friendship.

LPL_KarenA Apr 30, 2018

Canoeing, singing, color wars, capture the flag! What could be more exciting than spending the summer at camp? Vera is ready to have her first camping experience and make new friends, but realizes it's just as hard to make friends at camp as it is at home. Even though she's among other kids with Russian parents like herself, she finds the best way to have fun and make friends is to just be herself. A great read for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Jennifer Holm, and Victoria Jamieson.

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2018

This is a top-notch rendering of a slice of Brosgol's life, trying to fit in with peers when she was nine, stuck between two cultures as an immigrant. Not quite clicking with her wealthier friends at home, she decides to try a camp for Russian youth she learned about at her Orthodox church. Things there are no better. Nevertheless, she eventually finds it in herself to make the best of things and ends on a slight triumphant note. The art is expressive, emotive, and evocatively sensory. The storytelling takes a particular, individual experience and creates from it moments and feelings that all readers will be able to identify with. Trying to get along with others can be brutal, as this story sometimes gets, but there is also humor and hope and the awareness that none of us are alone in our plights. And that makes the book a joy.

SPPL_Teens Apr 19, 2018

This is perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier! It's such a charming, hilarious, and relatable story about Vera's struggle to fit in, her challenge of making friends, and her resilience & self-acceptance. Readers will easily connect with Vera's summer hardships and they will enjoy the artwork which is so expressive and detailed.


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LPL_KarenA Apr 30, 2018

LPL_KarenA thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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