Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power!By Mariko Tamaki Illustrated by Brooke Allen
Those who love the Lumberjanes comics can now read about April, Jo, Molly, Mal and Ripley in chapter book format in this new Lumberjanes series!
Lumberjanes are like Girl Scouts or Guides. Their adventures take place at camp, and they are all-too-eager to venture out into the woods, make new discoveries and explore new territory. The five girls of Roanoke cabin are best friends, and include each other in all of their plans.
In the first book of the series, Unicorn Power!, the Lumberjanes discover a field of unicorns – in fact, they are constantly discovering mythical creatures. The unicorns lead them to a giant, unexplored mountain, and April is determined to conquer it. Without telling their cabin leader, Jen, the girls set off on a dangerous adventure. But the mountain is not your average mountain – nothing ever is in Lumberjane world. Can the Lumberjanes cope with the otherworldly challenges they face?
An interesting aspect of the Lumberjanes stories is the way they challenge gender and relationship norms. Not only do the books celebrate the strength and ingenuity of girls, they also feature boys who identify as girls (Barney), the exploration of gay relationships and some parents who are gay. The stories also celebrate deep and ongoing friendships and simply being yourself. “Because it is awesome to be in a place where you feel like you can be you.” (p. 41)
Those who have been to camp will identify with the spirit of camaraderie that permeates the book. Girl Guides and Scouts will also appreciate the Lumberjanes’ pursuit of badges such as S’More the Merrier and May the Forge Be With You.