Lenni Reviews: “Be Prepared” by Vera Brosgol

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In this semi-autobiographical graphic novel, we follow nine-year-old Vera through a summer at a Russian sleepaway camp. She hopes she will have more luck finding friends in a place with more Russian kids like her. While things don’t go exactly how she planned, Vera does learn some important lessons about what friendship means.

Man, I do NOT miss being nine years old. Kids are jerks. Hell, my kid can be a jerk and she comes home with stories from school and camp to verify my unchanged opinion from nine-year-old me. What Vera goes through resonates with me because around her age, I was the ‘poor kid’ going to school with the rich kids.

Poor is in quotes because ‘not rich’ meant ‘poor’ to those kids.

I felt real empathy for Vera and really enjoyed reading her story. I love the fact she isn’t a perfect little angel, falling for some of the classic kid missteps we all take. The art is expressive and cute, but it ends on a damn cliffhanger! I hope Vera plans to continue this because it’s awesome. 4 out of 5.

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