Early Book Review: Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Be Prepared is a graphic novel by Vera Brosgol perfect for middle grade, young adult, and adult audiences.  It is currently scheduled for release on May 29 2018.

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. 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!

Be Prepared is a story that I think many readers can find something of themselves in. Vera just wants to fit in, to be included. However, being Russian and with little money she is a bot out of step with the people she wants to be friends with. She thinks that summer camp will be the answer, but her troubles continue there. She has to find her own path, her own way. I felt for Vera through her whole journey, cringed at her less than stellar choices, and celebrated with her when she found her way. The art work and story captured me, heart and soul, and left me wanting more. For me the story was not just about the author's struggles as a child; it is all of us that have felt different, left out, or not good enough. It is only once we find our own way, trust in ourselves a little, and care a little less about what others think of us that we find real friends and get a bit more comfortable in our skin. It was wonderful to see the start of that journey for Vera and I was left rooting for her in her next challenges, because there is always a next obstacle or challenge to face.

Be Prepared is a story that will touch most, if not all readers in some way. Even as a 40 something mom, I remembered feeling the same way as Vera, and I think that readers in the middle of that same part of life, or just past it, will relate even more closely than I. There are already several readers in my school I want this book for, and a daughter who is just about ready for it. I cannot wait to share it with them. 

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