Be Prepared Book Pdf ePub

Be Prepared

3.822,732 votes • 372 reviews
Published 24 Apr 2018
Be Prepared.pdf
Format Hardcover
Publisher First Second
ISBN 162672444X

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 can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!
Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Cece Bell, and Victoria Jamieson, Vera Brosgol's Be Prepared is a funny and relatable middle-grade graphic novel about navigating your own culture, struggling to belong, and the value of true friendship.

"Be Prepared" Reviews

- Canada
Tue, 08 May 2018

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 that case, write about something that you DO know. Don’t exaggerate.
My heart and I couldn’t connect and couldn’t sympathize.
Vera is begging her mom to send her to a Russian camp, since she feels it’s the only place where she’s going to feel comfortable, seeing that she doesn’t fit in with the American girls. This ‘‘lack of connection’’ to American culture and inability to ‘‘fit in’’ is only addressed at the beginning of the tale and… never again.
So anyway, Vera and her brother go to camp. For Vera, it’s an awful experience from the start: there are mean girls, disgusting toilets, mean boys, depressing activities (or that’s how Vera makes them look) and religious and patriotic stuff as well that underwhelm her.
This is supposedly a ‘‘hilarious’’ story. Yeah, right. I certainly expected it to contain humour and entertain me but, instead, it made me feel… bad. Not bad for Vera, but bad inside at all the cruelty and jealousy and lying in the book. I don’t even want to send my fictional or future children to camp based on what I just read. Also, I went to day camp ten years ago, and while I understand that it’s not the same, so much of the content here seems out of proportion.
Vera is a girl who is easily influenced by her peers, so when the ‘‘cool girls’’ make fun of people… so does she. And when the cool girls try to take advantage of her… she lets them. I mean, these things happen in real life, too, but if they’re not explored, in the sense that if the author doesn’t make it clear that this is the wrong situation to be in and the wrong reaction to it, there isn’t much to learn from it. Vera’s camp counsellor helps her figure one or two things out, but it’s as though the author is expecting the reader to realize on their own what is accepted between ‘‘friends,’’ and what isn’t.
And once again, nothing, NOTHING, about this book is hilarious. Vera’s art is cute, of course, no surprise there. But boy oh boy do I not agree with the way the author developed this story, especially since it ends on a cliffhanger. I need to say this, so perhaps cover your eyes: That was a stupid decision on the author's part. Who ends a graphic ‘‘memoir’’ on a cliffhanger? I’m assuming there will be a ‘‘sequel’’ to this partly made up memoir? That I will not read?
To go back to how judgemental Vera is, she says things like, ‘‘It felt strangely good to see someone else suffer a little,’’ and, ‘‘Geez. He was embarrassing to watch. Crying in front of everyone,’’ and it’s not like she feels bad about saying those things.
Can’t you have a little more compassion, especially since you know what it’s like for people to judge you relentlessly?
I don’t recommend this book, and I certainly don’t recommend it to kids. They need to be aware that there is ugliness in the world, but they must also learn how to deal with it, and this book is no teaching tool.
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Fri, 04 May 2018

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 shenanigans.
BUT. BUTBUTBUT! the art, you guys. the arrrrrrttttttt.
i probably didn't like it as much as Anya's Ghost (the other graphic novel i've read by Brosgol) but the art seems like it's somehow improved. which seems impossible. but god it's so cute and good i looooove it.
bottom line: who doesn't love a quick graphic novel with great art!!!

Thu, 05 Apr 2018

Summer Camp, Russian Culture, and Belonging
Having 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 there's one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.
I'm gonna jump right into discussing the book by highlighting the dreaded sleepover scene that still gives me chills... and it's been over a decade for me. All the more painful to relive it through Vera's young eyes. She's trying her hardest to assimilate as smoothly as possible by pulling together a sleepover (by replicating her friend's version), but then her mother gives her Russian twist on it.
As a child of Russian Jews (like I mention in my review for Natasha and Other Stories), I know all too well that you're donzo if your third-grade classmates see those Russian letters on the cake...
It's these intimate moments of struggling to belong and navigating your own culture that stood out to most when I read Anya’s Ghost back in 2016. So I was glad to see it delve deeper with  Be Prepared . I mean, the painful courage it took to include the sleepover must've been tremendous.
Moving along to Vera finding out about a Russian summer camp "build around fostering Russian community" and deciding to join in the hopes of finding people that'll get her. But she's not quite prepared for the conditions set in the middle of nowhere.
You pretty much knew what to expect with this introducing letter:
"Dear mom, could you pick me up as soon as you get this? PLEASE! I'm desperate"
What follows is a journey of self-acceptance and resilience, finding friendship within the right people, and more and more summer hardships to overcome. I read it in a heartbeat.
All in all, I more than keen on reading more of Vera Brosgol's graphic memoirs, especially with that ending we got from Be Prepared !
ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Expected publication: April 24th, 2018
Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Be Prepared, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!
This review and more can be found on my blog.

- Argyle, TX
Fri, 25 May 2018

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

- Bristol, The United Kingdom
Mon, 21 May 2018

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 nerd gets to win a bit at the end, Vera stumbles across a moose and has a spiritual moment, she happens to find the missing guinea pig and becomes besties with its owner, she captures the flag at the end; these story beats are too pat and smack of contrivance, watering down the memoir aspect of the book.
Vera Brosgol knows how to cartoon like the devil though and the book is wonderfully drawn. Ultimately Be Prepared just wasn’t that memorable or interesting a story though I expect it’d probably be more meaningful for teen girls going through similar growing pains. If you’ve not read it, I’d highly recommend Brosgol’s previous book, Anya’s Ghost, instead.