MISSING - Be Prepared

by Vera Brosgol

Hardcover, 2018


Checked out
Due Dec 23, 2021


First Second (2018), 256 pages


A misfit girl and her brother attend summer camp, where they struggle with primitive plumbing, snobby tentmates, and boys-versus-girls competitions.


½ (168 ratings; 3.9)

User reviews

LibraryThing member BillieBook
Although aimed at the middle grade reader, if you're an adult who ever went to summer camp and found yourself not among the popular, sneaking-out-to-make-out crowd, you'll find yourself wincing in sympathy with Vera's every misadventure. Both delightful and cringe-inducing. Brosgol's newest graphic
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novel is sure to appeal to fans of Raina Telgemeier and Victoria Jamieson.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
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
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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 older girls. One thing’s for sure: Vera’s not prepared for this experience!

Loosely based on Brosgol’s own childhood summer camping experience, this is a delightful read. Brosgol highlights both the fun parts of summer camp and the miserable ones, so whether you love camping or abhor it, you’ll be able to empathize! Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys this type of graphic novel.
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LibraryThing member bnbookgirl
I enjoyed this cute story about Vera and her "adventures" at summer camp. Her interactions with the other campers and with her own self are something so many young girls go through. My only concern is selling this bookstore I work at. It is a very Christian area and I know those customers would
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have a fit over the word tit in the book. I fill that that is how kids talk and therefore is ok, but it would make 70% of our customer base angry.
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LibraryThing member villemezbrown
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.
LibraryThing member emeraldreverie
I liked it. Art was great, story was entertaining. There were a few moments that threw me out - especially the offhand mention of fat camp, without any commentary. It definitely portrayed the otherness of being a kid.
LibraryThing member bemislibrary
Adults and youth who attended summer camp in the woods will find many familiar scenes. The story illustrates both the highlights of forming new relationships while exposing the suffering from not being part of the right cliché. The words add meaning, but the excellent drawings stand on their own.
LibraryThing member laze
I'm a sucker for camp-based coming of age stories, even if I never went to summer camp myself
LibraryThing member bookwyrmm
Very enjoyable, fast-paced, well-drawn sorta memoir about summer camp and finding your place.
LibraryThing member krau0098
This was a well done graphic novel about being different, friendship, and summer camp. I enjoyed it and thought it was well done.

Vera just wants to fit in but her poor Russian family doesn’t fit well with the other kids in the suburbs. She is very excited when she finds out she can go to an all
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Russian summer camp. However, when she gets there she finds out that camp is much more rustic than expected and she ends up having just as many issues with the Russian girls. Vera finally decides to try to find a way to make friends and fit in on her own terms.

The illustration is well done but uses just a few different tones of color (not my favorite). The story is good, very much a coming of age tale. It touches on friendship, family, and how being different is okay. This graphic novel is based on Brosgol’s summer camp experiences but not a true autobiography.

Overall I enjoyed this. It’s a good graphic novel about summer camp and making friends. I would recommend to those who enjoy contemporary fiction “coming-of-age” types of graphic novels.
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LibraryThing member TheLoisLevel
Really funny, cute book. Brosgol is really good with facial expressions, especially those of her own character. The bit about the camp being a Russian culture camp was also really interesting! So many of the graphic novels that are out feel kind of cheesy...too much about feelings...this is one
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that is actually fun to read.
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LibraryThing member ewyatt
Drawn from the author's own experience attending Russian Summer camp, Vera suffers through four weeks. At the outset we see Vera as a girl with a very different lived experience than some of the other girls whose sleepovers she attends. She thinks maybe a cultural camp will give her the experience
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she desires and make her feel like less of an outsider. She finds herself bunking up with much older girls. She tries to win them over through her amazing drawing skills. A kind counselor, her own creativity and connection with animals, and a new friend help make the time a bit more bearable, but not something she'd want to do again!
Vera is a likable character, the story is engaging, and the graphics to capture the rustic life at camp hit just right.
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LibraryThing member LibroLindsay
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
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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 physically. I love that Brosgol doesn't sugarcoat it either--that in the end, while there were a few good moments, she knew enough that she never wanted to return (well, in essence, as she explains at the end how this was an amalgamation of her experiences). I would have found so much solace in this had it been around when I was a kid.

Many thanks to First Second and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book.
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LibraryThing member jennybeast
Somewhat fictionalized memoir about being a 9 year old girl and trying to make friends. Hard, when your family is from another country (Russia) and has different language and customs than your friends. Hard, too, with a single mom in school, who doesn't have a lot of money to spend on the newest
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toys. Vera is obsessed with the idea of going to camp for the summer -- she achieves this goal, but it's not quite what she was hoping for. Light, funny, good story about finding your own way forward, and about the tensions between kids of different ages. Illustrations are endearing, and inspiring to see what an artist who starts drawing young can achieve.
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LibraryThing member fionaanne
A cute story about how summer camp kind of sucks, which jibes with my experiences. I'm unimpressed by the artwork; the limited color palette was a weird choice.

Irrelevant side note: given this is autobiographical, the idea of a military-themed summer camp for children of Russian descent in the US
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is unsettling and good fodder for a conspiracy story about long-term infiltration.
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LibraryThing member nilaffle
Bittersweet, funny, and heartbreaking in turns, as we join Vera on her journey to make friends and survive summer camp. One of my favorite reads of the year so far.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

8.84 inches


162672444X / 9781626724440

Other editions

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol (Paperback)
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol (Paperback)
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