Parents' Guide to

Be Prepared

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Smart, funny account of summer camp discomfort.

Be Prepared Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+

Mature topics

* Parents note* I was not prepared for the mature topics in this book as it was filed in the children’s section of the library. In the book, the boys steal a girls period-stained underwear and fly it on a flagpole and another girl insinuates that all the boys must know where she keeps her underwear, because she is such a flirt. No punishment is given to the boys and the story just moves on. This is a huge violation and would be a criminal offense today. In another part a boy walks in on a girl while in the bathroom, and winks at the embarrassed female. A girl flirts with a boy, and a jealous friend asks her why she doesn't just climb into his lap already, to which the boy responds with an excited "Ah Ya!" A cruder version of the word nipple is used several times. I am not about banning books - but feel this one is not appropriately filed in the children's section of the library.
2 people found this helpful.
age 10+


this book was an okay graphic novel. there are some inappropriate love scenes you might want to watch out for. and it can also get boring at times. but there are some great messages saying not to bully. so I think it's pretty good.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (8 ):

There are plenty of tales of summer camp hijinks, but few capture the experience with such awkward hilarity as this keenly observed graphic novel. Vera Brosgol puts her own unique spin on Be Prepared. depicting her struggle to fit in at a sleepaway camp for speakers of Russian. She depicts the semi-sadistic antics of the mean girls, the inscrutability of the daily lessons, the horror of the outhouses. The dialogue rings true, and the artwork says in a few panels more than many storytellers achieve in a page or more. Summer camp stories usually follow a prescribed template, but Be Prepared forgoes the usual path and strikes off into new territory. Highly recommended.

Book Details

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