Book Title:
Be Prepared
Book Author:
Vera Brosgol
Book Illustrator:
Vera Brosgol
Publishing Date:
April 24th, 2018
First Second
Date Read:
April 4th, 2018
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!


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.

My Review

Remember a few months back when I reviewed Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost?  I had so many awesome things to tell you guys about that book, including how freaking awesome it was and how I couldn’t get enough of it.  Well, when I heard that Vera Brosgol was coming out with a new graphic novel, this time about a Russian girl’s stay at a summer camp for other Russian kids, I was super excited – such a perfect graphic novel for summer, right?

Well, when I read this book, I fell head over heels in love with it.  The illustrations were great, the story was so much fun, and it definitely was the perfect book to start off the summer season with.

Growing up, I had never gone to summer camp.  I don’t know much about them, because it’s kind of just a thing that not many kids around the area I live in actually do.  So I’m always searching out summer camp stories, and I knew this was going to be something I ended up devouring in one sitting, and not just because it’s another amazingly done graphic novel by Vera Brosgol.

I don’t know much about Russian culture at all, and since I love learning about new cultures, I was so excited to get a look into what a summer camp for Russian kids looked like.  I thought maybe I could learn a few things, and I have to say, this is such a great book for middle graders and teens who are looking to learn something new this summer.

Vera is watching all of her friends head off to summer camp, and while her mother can’t really afford to send her, there is one camp that she can go to: a Russian summer camp!  Super excited to go, Vera packs all of her things and waits, impatiently, to head off to camp.  She’s even convinced her mom that letting her little brother go would be great for him, too – even though he doesn’t want to.

But when Vera gets to camp, she realizes that while she thought this would be the perfect place for her to fit in, she was wrong.  She’s partnered up with older girls who are best friends, and who make fun of Vera and make her realize that she isn’t quite as “cool” as they are.

During the time she spends at camp, she tries to impress the older girls, begrudgingly participates in camp activities, and for the most part, finds herself rather miserable the entire time.  She didn’t think camp was going to be anything like this, and she finds herself really disappointed and wishes she hadn’t begged her mom to let her come at all!

Just like in Anya’s Ghost, Be Prepared is the kind of book that really has the ability to capture your attention and make you keep reading.  I didn’t put this book down once when I was reading it, until I had finished it.  Then I read it two more times because I loved it so much!

Be Prepared is a fun book for all ages, with charming illustrations that really make the story come to life.  I love the n0te at the back of the book, and if you read the book, make sure to check that part out, too!

5 stars
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