Be prepared by Vera Brosgol

In Be Prepared, all Vera wants to do is fit inbut 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 rangeRussian 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!

This sweet little comic book came into my world because I saw someone else reading it and I grew curious. The art is adorable and I’ve never read anything camping related before. So I borrowed it from the person who I spotted reading it.

Be Prepared is a story about looking forward to something only to be truly disappointed about it, but in the end, you try to make the best of it. It’s also about being young, a child but not really child. And how it feels to be different even in a place where everyone is like you.

Vera desperately wants to fit in and is embarrassed by her Russian roots. Which I understand, as someone who came to the USA at the same age as Vera. Vera’s mom wishes to continue bringing Vera in her Russian upbringing, but Vera wants to be more American. Have the perfect American birthday party and go to summer camp and be like the other girls.

When Vera finds a Russian summer camp to attend, she convinces her mom to let her go. She was finally going to fit in! (And go to summer camp). But boy was she wrong. Soon Vera finds that summer camp is nothing like she envisioned, and finds herself in a similar situation as before: an outcast.

My favorite part of Ms. Brosgol’s novel is the color. Which can be a little strange considering the graphic novel is done in different hues of grass stain green. But I feel it worked perfectly throughout the novel, especially in the summer camp scenes. I associate that certain shade of green with the outdoors, unwanted things, and sour skittles — the general gist of the novel.

This was a perfect end of summer read.

Thank you Is for lending me her copy. She is also a blogger you can check her out at

My rating: 4/5

Be Prepared
By Vera Brosgol
Pages 256
Published by First Second
ISBN 162672444X
Published April 24th 2018

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