Be Prepared (paperback)
by Vera Brosgol
Be Prepared is the second graphic novel I’ve read by Vera Brosgol (the first was Anya’s Ghost), and this is more autobiographical. The main character, Vera, is a Russian immigrant, and her main goal is to fit in with the more popular, American girls, but she is poor and Russian, and doesn’t look the same or have the nice dolls they have. She is discouraged, but learns there is a summer camp she can attend while the others girls attend their own summer camps. It is a camp for Russian American kids, and her mother finds a way to send her there. However, Vera finds herself in the same problem, trying to fit in with the popular girls, but she’s the youngest, smallest, and least cool. She declines help from the leader, and tries to make it on her own. Vera learns she can’t isolate herself, and has to get herself out of her predicament.
What I liked about this book is I think students will be able to relate to Vera’s problems while learning about summer camp and enjoying a graphic novel. Vera struggles to fit in, deals with the popular girls, and doesn’t understand what true friendship is, allowing herself to be used. She didn’t really put herself out there, and tried to be like the others. I could relate to that. Hopefully, this book will speak to some of my students who struggle with the same thing.
What I didn’t like about this book was the page with giant spider illustrations!
Book 2 of 20 (summer goal)
(Book 48 of 2018)