Be PreparedBy Vera Brosgol
Vera is ten years old and struggles to make friends. All the girls she knows have the “right” kinds of birthday parties, dolls and sleepovers. They all go to summer camp while she stays home with her brother. The girls in Vera’s class are all-American girls but Vera’s family is Russian.
When she finds out that there is a Russian summer camp, Vera begs to go. Despite the cost, her mother finally relents and sends both Vera and her brother.
Vera is old enough to bunk with the teenage girls, but she quickly discovers that she is nothing like them. She balks at the camp food and is positively disgusted by the toilet, known as the “Hollywood”. Camp life is nothing like she expected.
But as the weeks go by, Vera finally gives up on trying to impress the older girls and makes a friend in the younger girls’ camp. Suddenly, camp life seems better and better.
Be Prepared is a graphic novel that vividly depicts one girl’s struggle to fit in. Vera Brosgol’s illustrations bring this story to life. Be Prepared is actually the story of the author’s own struggles as a child. Everyone has trouble fitting in at times – some kids, especially girls, may take solace in Vera’s story. There is more to Be Prepared than pain, however. There is also friendship, humour and triumph.
There is some mature content in this book, making it suitable for grade 6 and up.