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Brain Camp

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  3,669 ratings  ·  438 reviews
Neither artistic, dreamy Jenna nor surly, delinquent Lucas expected to find themselves at an invitation-only summer camp that turns problem children into prodigies. And yet, here they both are at Camp Fielding, settling in with all the other losers and misfits who've been shipped off by their parents in a last-ditch effort to produce a child worth bragging about.

Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by First Second (first published August 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  3,669 ratings  ·  438 reviews

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Mulder and Scully go to Summer camp and find Aliens of course. The summer camp turns out to be the Stepford wives, turning out perfectly well behaved smart children. Luckily, the sexual tension helps the two sweethearts keep their heads enough to foil the evil plan of the government and aliens.

The art was fantastic. This is a great middle grade read. I thought it was fun.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
What an awful piece of writing. I hated this one so much I'll be removing it from my classroom library. It has NO redeeming qualities--other than it's a comic book and kids would like it for that reason only. The writing is awful. The character development is barely there. The plot is nonexistent.

And other reasons it was so bad? Cursing, using the R-word more than once, illustrating one of the character's wet dreams (really!). Ish. I'm mad I spent any money on this horrid book.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I really liked the IDEA of this (camp for gifted kids actually seems to be brainwashing them and then it turns out it's because of aliens/the government) but it felt just like kind of rushed and too simplistic?

Also (spoiler I guess whatever)(view spoiler)
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Huh this one was a little weird. Interesting but weird. Only thing I really liked was the art. This wasn't bad or anything but I don't know, I didn't like this as much but at the same time I found something to like which was the art. A weird read.
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Are you the kind of person who, when someone else starts to gag or throw up, you instantly feel nauseous? If so, this book may not be for you! The gross out factor is strong with this one. Consider yourself warned. For me, the ickiness only added to the story, but I can easily see myself having a hard time if I had a queasy stomach.

Brain Camp was an interesting read, but ultimately, a let down. The first 1/3 of the book was fantastic! I was hooked into this story of a summer camp that clearly
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Like Zombies Calling, it's basically a B movie in graphic novel format. Fun enough to read, but nothing spectacular. Definitely a creative premise, though. Unfortunately, the characters fall a little flat for me. Great art, though.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Great premise, terrible execution.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this graphic novel, but really just didn't. I like Faith Hicks' drawing style, and the cover really drew me in (especially with the spot varnishing on the eyes of all of the creepy zombie kids surrounding our two main characters). What got me about this were the rampant plot holes:(view spoiler) ...more
Um. weird.

It's a creepy (but sorta funny?) tale about summer camp (view spoiler). The story is compelling from the beginning, but seems to really lose steam as the plot progresses.

It almost seems as though the author didn't really know where to go with the story, so decided to end it rather abruptly (and, in my opinion, unsatisfyingly).

While the story itself is appropriate for middle grade-age children, other
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, graphic-novels
2.5 stars
Elizabeth (Elzburg)
3.45 stars.

It took me a long time to finally pick this up because I don’t have a very great track-record with its publisher, First Second. I’ve read three other books published by them, Anya’s Ghost, and Boxers and Saints. All of these books were good but… unsettling or unsatisfactory in some way, and that’s the impression I’m left with whenever I think of them.

I think Brain Camp may be my favorite First Second book I’ve read… either this or Saints. The story was interesting but jarring at the
Jessica at Book Sake
This is a classic "Body Snatchers" story. Not to say that is bad, it's actually a pretty fun story. It sets up the eerie mood right from the start. But it's not just a creepy story, you get to see a real friendship grow between the two characters. The only thing holding it back is that is sticks tight to the "Body Snatcher" story arc and is fairly predictable because of it. However it is well told and expertly handled.

The artwork is very stylized, you could say cartoony. But the characters are
David Schaafsma
Apr 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-ya, gn-women
The best part of this one is Faith Hicks's artwork, which is so inviting and fun. The story is okay, a sort of sci fi/ conspiracy/horror anti-testing story written by two supposedly fine playwrights, Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan, but the funny thing is, the dialogue and story here are not nearly as good as in Hicks's own stuff like The War at Ellsmere or (especially) Friends with Boys and The Adventures of Superhero Girl. It's okay, though improbable on lots of levels (and I don't just mean the ...more
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Plot: Who doesn't love a horror story set at a camp? Truly, there is just something so fun about being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of creepy, zombie-like children to make a book fun.That is exactly what happens in this book. Jenna and Lucas find themselves at a camp that will supposedly make them into the brilliant children that their parents want them to be. Unfortunately, that comes at a price. I love that it's not a traditional zombie graphic novel, and that the explanation is ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'd read this yesterday at the library after being overjoyed to randomly find it on the shelves. I've been wanting to read this for a while, having read and loved Friends with Boys by Erin Faith Hicks. For the most part, it lived up to the expectations.

I'll warn you, this is a surprisingly dark story. You'd kind of expect that, what with the idea of teens being sent to a camp that "reprograms" them to be Stepford children. I just wasn't expecting the level that I saw here, which was sort of
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Some Spoilers follow:::::::::::::
Interesting opening: by page 4 I thought two kids were dying as they were coughing up bird feathers.

Characters give hilarious descriptions of themselves as they are labeled in school as "bright" but an "underachiever" or a trouble maker, or hyper. I see this often in schools, and some kids you just question what you can do to motivate them, so they often get labeled as such.

Recommended for mature middle school ages & up: girl begins period; insinuated
This is a strange little tale that finds two teenagers sent to a camp that promises to turn them (and I quote) into winners! At first it seems a case of mass mind washing but things quickly take a turn for the surreal as Jenna and Lucas discover there is a lot more to this camp than meets the eye. While the illustrations are superb I found the story only vaguely interesting as it seems familiar to me somehow. I don't whether its because its the kind of story that seems familiar but isn't or if ...more
Goldilocks Reads (Jenna Vahue)
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
I picked this book up on a whim in my library's meager graphic novel section because I liked the artwork and it featured my name. This book was a total mess. The plot is conflicting and it is never really resolved. I am delighted that it featured a POC main character but I only read it while I waited for my pizza. I'd recommend for those last minute cram sessions when you haven't met your Goodreads goal. Otherwise, don't muddle your brain with Brain Camp.

May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I picked this up at the library to feed my kids' graphic novel addiction. My daughter spent the next two hours glued to its pages, barely looking up to eat and acknowledge anyone. 'You have to read this!' she told me and sure enough, I was also hooked from the first page. We passed it on to her younger sister and, yes, same effect. It's just such a great plot with so much mystery, great characters and an anarchic embrace of non-conformity. The pages are refreshingly uncluttered but the zombies ...more
Jeff Raymond
I love most everything Faith Erin Hicks does, and this has been sitting on my shelf for years. A fun pseudo-horror novel with some really cool elements, I think the big flaw is that the book feels like it should be longer. Instead, it sort of leaps from place to place, and the result is a book that's got a lot of great parts even with an uneven whole. Fun art, fun concept, but not the greatest on the execution end.
Hector Ibarraran
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I picked this book up about five years ago, mainly because I love Faith Erin Hicks's work. That said Susan Kim's writing is also phenomenal. The book is disturbing, but perfect for the kind of subversion desperately needed by the intended audience. Achievement culture may be stealing a part of our humanity, but it isn't completely evil. People need to understand where the balance lies, and I think this book is an invitation to ask that question. Interesting read.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 7th-grade
This is a graphic novel for teens due to language and some puberty stuff. It was just okay for me. I think that the story was good, but I didn't care for the ending. I am assuming that it will continue in another volume. I think I have some kids at my library that will really enjoy it. I'm just not much of a graphic novel fan.
Nancy Kotkin
Story: 2 stars
Art: 4 stars

The story set-up was rather intriguing, but soon after both main characters arrive at the camp, things unravel and become too outlandish. The second half of the book doesn't match the first half; they read like two completely different stories. The romance isn't really believable either. Interesting premise though, and the art is above average.
Tom Malinowski
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jenna and Lucas each have parents that are disapproving of their lack of school interests. They are recruited by a representative from Camp Fielding, an educational camp that will turn them into stellar teens. But when Jenna and Lucas arrive, things are getting weird. A sickness, gloppy food, and some kids end up missing. Good pacing of story and really dig the art.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
This graphic novel was just not for me. It was weird, which didn't sway my rating. I can enjoy a little weirdness. However, I found the use of the term retarded and the wet dream sequence to be very tasteless. Was all that necessary? I just did not enjoy this one.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fun, quick read about a bunch of less-than-perfectly-accomplished kids who get sent to a new camp where no matter how stupid they think they are, they become really smart really quick. The main boy and girl figure out something is afoot, and somehow their mutual attraction saves the day.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this graphic novel of two teens at a creepy summer camp. It becomes apparent right away that things are not right at Camp Fielding. It’s up to Jenna and Lucas to find a way to save everyone. There are a few unanswered questions and I can see room for a sequel. This was a fun quick read ...more
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
one of the authors wrote for Courage the Cowardly Dog, and that is exactly the tone if this weird little graphic novel. I love it!
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #34 Brain Camp by Susan Kim 1 3 Jul 22, 2017 11:44AM  

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Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan cowrote the graphic novels City of Spies and Brain Camp. Susan is also a five-time Emmy nominee for her work in children's television and a Writers Guild Award winner for best documentary. She wrote the stage adaptation of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, teaches writing at Goddard College, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post. When Susan was little, her family ...more
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