Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Be Prepared

A gripping and hilarious middle-grade summer camp memoir from the author of Anya's Ghost.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...

Details Be Prepared

TitleBe Prepared
Release DateApr 24th, 2018
PublisherFirst Second
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Childrens, Middle Grade, Comics, Autobiography, Memoir, Realistic Fiction

Reviews Be Prepared

  • Lola
    Some stories… don't need to be told.First of all, although this is marketed as a graphic ‘‘memoir,’’ the author admits in her note that a lot of the some stuff in this book is made up, so… not true. 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 t...
  • emma
    IF VERA BROSGOL DOESN'T HAVE THE CUTESTBEST ART STYLE IN THE WORLD, I SURE DO NOT KNOW WHO DOES.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 shen...
  • Nat
    Summer Camp, Russian Culture, and BelongingHaving 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 the...
  • Whitney Atkinson
    I enjoyed this! This will be a short review just because the rating speaks for itself. I have nothing particularly outstanding to say about it, but there's also nothing terrible about it. It was entertaining, but it was just okay. Maybe get it from the library instead of buying it
  • Sam Quixote
    Be prepared - for a middling childhood memoir comic! Vera Brosgol’s latest book is about her going to a Russian summer camp as a kid and having a bit of a tough time of it. But it’s not all bad and yadda yadda yadda, learning important lessons, etc. 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 ner...
  • David Schaafsma
    Vera Brosgol created Anya's Ghost, which I liked very much, so I looked forward to this tale, since summer camp was important to my early life, and is important to some present members of this house now, including one girl. I expect they may really like this story, which is very much based on Brosgol's largely miserable experiences at camp while growing up. She also explains in an afterword that in the process of creating this graphic novel that ...
  • Julie Ehlers
    Be Prepared is the second graphic novel I've read by Brosgol (the first was Anya's Ghost), and I liked this one much better. Based on the author's own experiences, this is an absorbing story of a girl who has trouble fitting in and wants nothing more than to go to summer camp, but when she does go it doesn't turn out anything like she was hoping. I thought this might be humorous or even scary, but instead it's mostly sad—although there's defini...
  • Jay G
    Want to see more from me? Check out my Youtube channel: 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...
  • Jessica
    Wonderful! Think Shannon Hale's REAL FRIENDS, but set at summer camp! I love Brosgol's art (she did one of my top books from last year: LEAVE ME ALONE!), and the true(ish) story of her trying to fit in and make friends, at home and at camp, was funny and heartbreaking in turns. I can't wait to see what she doesn't next! PS: I burned through this minutes after picking it up from the library, and then handed it to my 9yo daughter, who is absolutely...
  • Dov Zeller
    Things I like about this book:expressiveness of the art, style of the artThings I struggled with in this book:everythingSomehow 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 f...
  • Rod Brown
    With strong art and solid writing, this is a well-done addition to the coming-of-age summer camp subgenre. The Russian Orthodox background of the characters gives the book a unique flavor. I'd like to see a follow-up to the little cliffhanger at the end.
  • Laura
    When I was a child, I lived in a well-to-do neighborhood, and had well-to-do neighbors, and classmates. This was in the days when rich people still sent their kids to public schools. They were the kids, that in high school had their own cards, and went on ski trips, and to Summer camp every year.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 n...
  • Aliza Werner
    Love this autobiographical graphic novel of young Vera going to Russian camp. I was excited to have my 3rd graders grab it, but there a few parts that take this one up to a true middle grade read (name calling: "tit head", older campers caught making out, period-stained undies flying from the flagpole). Many kids will relate to the challenges of friendships and navigating new situations.
  • Julie Kirchner
    I love graphic novels and how this format appeals to a wide range of students. This book will definitely be popular with students, but I did have some concerns about whether I feel comfortable promoting it with my elementary students. Vera Brosgol wrote this as a semi-autobiographical story about her trips to Russian summer camp. The moments prior to camp at the friend sleepover and hosting her own sleepover birthday party were heart breakingly r...
  • Peacegal
    BE PREPARED is a great graphic memoir about one young girl's attempt to navigate the perils of life at age 9. Although some of the content is very specific to her growing up Russian-American, a lot of it is universally relatable. The passages about feeling "on the outside" among other groups of girls, girl-led ostracism, and trying to "win" friends by drawing cartoons for people were mortifyingly familiar for me.
  • Abby Johnson
    Almost-10-year-old Vera is on the outside a lot. Although she gets invited to slumber parties with the other girls, she's never really part of the in-crowd. And when she tries to throw her own birthday slumber party, things go horribly awry. Vera always feels different than the other kids and part of that is because, as Russian immigrants, her family is different. Which is why, when Vera hears about a Russian culture summer camp sponsored by her ...
  • Emily
    Unfortunately, the part where they chanted "tit head" at someone is going to make it far-less marketable in the community where I work.
  • Lindsay
    There is a special circle of Hell in childhood designated to summer camp, at least for some of us, and this newest from Brosgol captures it perfectly. While I don't share the same experiences of being Russian in America, I certainly sympathized with the essence of her childhood--when you're already an outcast, you dream that you can get away from your present problems, but they generally always followed you no matter how far away you put yourself...
  • Melissa
    Yep. I was that dork who didn’t know how to make friends at camp too.
  • Alyssa
    I was sent this book for review from Macmillan-First Second Reads. All thoughts and opinions are honest. I've read Anya's Ghost and I really enjoyed it. So, I knew very well that I wouldn't have a problem reading this. Vera is eight & nine-years old in this graphic memoir and dreams of going to sleep-away camp like her friends are. Yet, her mother is going to school for accounting and is a single parent. They're dealing with poverty and Vera is b...
  • Misti
    Nine-year-old Vera is excited about attending Russian camp. She’s always felt a little out of place among her friends, and hopes that a few weeks around other people of Russian heritage will help. Plus, she’s heard some great camp stories: bonfires and s’mores, hiking, ghost stories, swimming in the lake... Unfortunately, nobody told her about the bugs, and let’s not even talk about the latrines! Plus, she ends up in a tent with two mean ...
  • J.T.
    This was for my 8 year old daughter, but I loved the artwork so much that I ended up reading it before I gave it to her. The drawings are fantastic, the story is equally great and Alec did a wonderful job on the coloring. This is an autobiographical story of a Russian girl who struggles to fit in with her American peers. She hears of a Russian sleep-away camp and assumes she'll fit right in there. Unfortunately, she struggles there as well. I rel...
  • Darcy Roar
    Such a good camp story. I love the realities of the kid's interpersonal relationships (people are mean but not generally the devil, making friends is difficult, even protagonists can be bullies some times, it's hard to learn to be self reliant, family lets you down sometimes, etc.) Nothing felt preachy (which is the worst thing a kids/teen book can do in my very biased opinion) but there's still an underlying message. I really enjoyed it & that l...
  • Jenna
    Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Svetlana Chmakova’s Brave! I wasn’t sure what to expect from this graphic novel, and, as never been to camp, let alone a Russian Orthodox camp, it was all interesting to read about. The issues of bullying and exclusion that Vera deals with range from the subtle to the outright mean, and how she deals with it (briefly being unpleasant to others) and pulls through as a more mature person was wo...
  • Gabby
    I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher, via my work, in order to give an honest review. Be Prepared reminds me of being the kid who couldn't go to camp because they were too poor to do so, in the best possible way though. Add to that she makes it so easy to relate to her despite the fact that she was Russian, and I am not in any shape, fashion, or from. This is a great addition to the graphic novels that can be recommended to...
  • Brittany
    This is an easy recommendation for those that can't get enough Raina Telgemeier, Shannon Hale or Jennifer L. Holm. What makes this book stand apart is its drawings and use of color - the shades of green and not much else made you feel like you were right there with Vera at camp in the middle of nowhere. A quick and delightful read.
  • Vanessa (splitreads)
    A cute story of a girl going to sleepaway "Russian" camp and feeling like she doesn't fit in. I really like Brosgol's illustrations. The story was short and enjoyable, but I thought it would be a little bit more profound at the end. (Also it had quite a bit of poop discussion/humor which I did not expect lol)
  • Mrs. Debraski
    I was really looking forward to reading this and it did not disappoint. There was a lot of humor here, but it really was pretty sad (to me). Poor Vera was at a camp she hated, she had trouble fitting in, longed for a friendship and nothing seemed to go right. I was fascinated by the aspects of it being a Russian camp. A great book for fans of Real Friends, Smile, Sunny Side Up.(Don't forget to read the author's note at the end!)
  • Edward Sullivan
    A sweet, poignant, funny middle-grade summer camp graphic memoir .
  • Karen
    This brings back the whole awful and funny experience of adolescent angst. Give it to your favorite kid, but not until they come back from summer camp (if they read the book first, they'll definitely have second thoughts about going!).