What Camp Is Really Like

Today I have a book that shares what camp is really like.  This one hit home for me.  My mom sent me off to camp on my own for several summers, and while I didn’t share all the same experiences as Vera, that feeling of trying to fit in is very real.   In the end, camp is usually a mix of pleasant and challenging memories and this book captures both very well.

Don’t forget to follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don’t miss a graphic novel that shares the realities fo fitting in with digging your own latrine. Yup, not my most pleasant memory from camp.

Title: Be Preparedwhat camp is really like be prepared

Author: Vera Brosgol

Target: Grades 3-6

Series: No

What this book is about:

Vera is having trouble fitting in at school.  Her family has less money than the other kids and she never gets to go off to summer camp like her peers.  Her family arrived from Russia when she was young and through church, she finds out about a Russian summer camp where she can get a scholarship.  She thinks that maybe this might be a place she could fit in and begs her mom to attend.  But when she arrives, campers already know each other and it isn’t as easy to make friends as she expected.  Through lots of starts and stops, she finally gets to a place that isn’t so bad.

Why I love this book:

  • This is the story for any kid who felt like the odd man out or struggled through friendships.  Isn’t that just about any kid really?  It is also for that kid who thinks that one thing will fix it all, and when it doesn’t they have to confront the reality of the situation.
  • I love that this story was based on the author/illustrator’s experiences at camp.  She even includes a real letter at the end she wrote from camp.  It does sound eerily like one I wrote home once!  I was reminded of my camp days so this book gets it right.
  • The illustrations are great.  While the colors are muted (they tie in with the theme of nature), the details are right on the money.  The pictures are so expressive and appealing and really add to the story.

Who this book is for: 

I immediately thought of Real Friends by Shannon Hale because of the story’s honest portrayal of the difficulties of friendships.  I also thought of Like Bug Juice on a Burger for the challenges of camp.  But really fans of the graphic novels of Raina Telgemeier and Victoria Jamieson will like this one.

Final thoughts:

I appreciated learning a little about the Russian Orthodox religion and Russian culture through this story.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Be Prepared.  A portion of each purchase will go back to this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.