"Beautifully drawn, brutally funny, brilliantly honest. Vera is such a good cartoonist I almost can’t stand it.” —Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile
In Be Prepared, 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’...more
First of all, although this is marketed as a graphic ‘‘memoir,’’ the author admits in her note that
Why would you even write a memoir if you’re not going to be completely honest or fully aware of the memories you’re featuring? The author says she simply couldn’t remember all that well her experience at camp when she was young. In that case, write about something that you DO know. Don’t exaggerate.
that's pretty much the standout part of this book in either direction. it's a classic indoors-kid-goes-to-camp-and-hates-it-and-everything-is-terrible-but-then-she-likes-it-because-she-makes-a-friend-just-in-time-to-leave story. which, like, not my favorite trope? presumably no one's favorite trope? just a lot of gross toilets and bugs and outdoor shenanigans.
BUT. BUTBUTBUT! the art, you guys. the arr ...more
Summer Camp, Russian Culture, and Belonging
Having adored Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol, I was keen on checking out her spin with this gripping and hilarious middle-grade summer camp memoir.
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.
In her afterword she talks about condensing two summers of camp into one to make the narrative more exciting, which is fine, but she also makes some stuff up, which was a bit iffy. The bullied nerd gets to win a bit at the end, Vera stumbles across a ...more
PS: I burned through this minutes after picking it up from the library, and then handed it to my 9yo daughter, who is absolutely riveted as well. She's a big fan of Raina Telgeme ...more
For while I thankfully never did experience the kind of mostly horrible summer camps of Vera Bros ...more
It's an autobiographical graphic novel about nine-year-old Vera's experiences at a Russian summer camp. Not a summer camp in Russia because those were outlawed last century but, rather, a camp that promotes Russian history and culture that would otherwise be lost to children of Russian ancestry.
Pretty much Girl or Boy Scouts but for Russian kids.
She peer-pressured herself into going and then had a miserabl ...more
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this in exchange for my honest review!
Everyone Vera knows gets to go away to summer camp every year. All Vera wants is to be like the other kids in her neighbourhood. Then, one summer, her mother agrees to send her to ORRA, a Russian summer camp for children just like her! Upon arriving, Vera quickly realizes that she is not going to enjoy her time ...more
While, I, like Vera in this story, had to make to with what we had, and couldn’t afford to do any of the things that my friends were doing. Certainly not Summer camp.
And Vera has the added problem of be ...more
expressiveness of the art, style of the art
Things I struggled with in this book:
Somehow the narrative just doesn't come together in a way that I could make sense of. It was chaotic, distractingly episodic, worrisome, strange. Vera goes through all this horrible stuff, and it's painful to witness, but I don't really feel like there's a reason I am going through it with her. Because of the expressive art, I feel happy when she's happy, and worried when she's ...more
This is a fictionalized memoir of the author's experiences at a Russian camp. In America. As a Russian immigrant, all Vera wants to do is fit in, but it's hard to do in America, especially in the suburbs. So when she learns about Russian camp, she figures that's where she'll find her tribe. But all does not go as she expects.
Like El Deafo, the author makes it clear that some parts of the story have been fictionalized, either for simplicity or for interest's sake. But I'm not sure if it really matters if it's 100% true or not (and at least she didn't pull a James Frey and try to pass it off as a completely true story). Anyone who's been to summer camp (or even camping) ...more
Great graphic novel fictionalized memoir (Brosgol is very straightforward about this in the afterword).
Brosgol is a star. This graphic novel is black and white with green and well told.
The thing I remember grabbing my heart the most is the stuff about class. Vera wants to go to camp as a way to fit in with the "American" girls. She feels like an outsider when she goes to their sleepovers, and looks forward to her own birthday sleepover as a chance to fulfill her dr ...more
She has done illustration work for clients such as Nickelodeon, Sony Computer Entertainment, and Simon & Schuster. Her first graphic ...more