Friday, July 20, 2018

Fact Friday: Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol. 256 p. First Second, April, 2018. 9781626724457. (Own)

Fact Friday features Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol. This is Brosgol's second graphic novel and, unlike her debut, Anya's Ghost, this one is a memoir about nine, almost ten-year-old Vera's time spent at a summer camp for Russian children. Vera lives with her single mother, brother and baby sister. She doesn't quite fit in with her savvier, wealthy classmates as scenes from two birthday sleepover parties show. When a prickly girl from Vera's Russian church tells her about her Russian culture summer camp, Vera begs her mother to go. Her cash-strapped mom signs Vera and her very reluctant younger brother up for two weeks. Vera is ecstatic. Her brother? Not so much. 

Hilarity ensues as Vera tries to fit in with two fourteen-year-old bunkmates and camp life which includes using outhouses and speaking entirely in Russian. 

The art is predominantly greens and browns. Changes in panel size and crisp, authentic dialog keep the reader engaged and alternately cringing and rooting for Vera. 

Be Prepared is perfect for graphic novel fans, especially fans of gn memoirs. There have been so many good ones lately and this one holds its own.

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