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Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware The Kitten Holy Paperback – April 7, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—The first four issues of this female-created and female-starring comic, set at summer camp with creepy happenings, are collected here in this kick-butt volume. The graphic novel begins mid-adventure as five campers are out after hours investigating a strange event that they all witnessed: a woman turning into a giant bear. This is just the first of many odd occurrences that Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley encounter at the summer camp for "Hardcore Lady Types." The Lumberjanes, as the scouts are called, band together to solve puzzles, defeat three-eyed creatures, and escape the ire of their watchful counselor Jen. Each protagonist has a skill that helps the group conquer each obstacle. Spunky, lovable characters sparkle with exuberant personality and challenge gender stereotypes. Small details make these episodes stand out—the hipster Yetis guarding a mysterious lighthouse, Molly and Mal's tender glances at each other, and Ripley's penchant for animals and all things cute. At the opening of each chapter, an excerpt from the Lumberjanes field guide is included and a gallery of cover images append the book. References to female heroines (invocations of Bessie Coleman and Joan Jett as well as Rosie the camp director's striking resemblance to Rosie the Riveter) and phrases such as "Friends to the Max!" and "What the junk!" add to the charm of this feel-good title that celebrates female empowerment. The vibrant art exudes humor and reinforces themes of teamwork and friendship. VERDICT A must-have graphic novel for those who have graduated from Raina Telgemeier's works.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
About the Author
Noelle Stevenson is the creator of the web comic Nimona. Stevenson started Nimona as a student at Maryland Institute College of Art. The comic was first published in June 2012 and doubled as Stevenson's senior thesis.
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This story is not what I thought it was going to be. I feel like this story was really written for maybe teens or pre-teens because the content seems, kind of, juvenile but in a good way. It was very simple; kind of, innocent in the way the magical elements were presented. Still, adults could totally read and enjoy this if they don’t take it too seriously.
So, the first thing that I like was the whole female wilderness survivalists who are kids, thing. That's like two things already that really appeal to me. We've got young characters who are also females surviving out in the wilderness which is kind of against the status quo. I love the fact that this story is so funny. I think its humor and the drawings really send the story over the top. Without there being so much humor and without the images being so vibrant, I probably would have given this story a lower rating. It's not a complicated story but it isn’t that simple either. Some people may just not get it.
What I really liked about the story is the constant theme of friendship. You have this group of young survival girls who are basically tormenting their camp counselor, which anyone who's ever gone to camp, can relate to. This group of friends, whether they are or aren’t traumatizing their camp counselor, stick together. They help each other out. They laugh at things that are funny and they can poke fun at each other while also building each other up. None of these girls are vindictive towards one another. They're all very different and they seem to accept each other for their differences.
I also liked the Indiana Jones/Nancy Drew mashup happening within the girl’s wilderness adventures. Even when they do cross paths with other creatures such as wolves or even boys, the girls seem to find a way to have the upper-hand, whether planned out or through total coincidental calamity.
Some readers might find the content to be a little off-putting considering the age range for readers. It's hard for me to clearly say that this is a graphic novel written for teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 16 because I really don’t know; that’s just what I assumed. I will offer two warnings for potential readers. (1) While this is a very light and fluffy story, there are some dark and or disturbing moments.
(2) *SPOLIER here* Also, two of the characters seem like they might have a crush on each other, which may be a matter of concern for conservative parents.**
Still, all in all, this wasn’t a groundbreaking, earth-shattering phenomenon, but it was highly entertaining.
I’d recommend it to comic fans, feminists, and anyone who appreciates a funny story that’s just a little outside the box.
After my little sister's great reception of it I decided to read it myself, and I loved it too (for a reference point, I'm 19). It's full of magic and adventure, and the protagonists are exactly the hard core lady types that every young girl should have as a role model. The pop culture references keep it interesting and realistic as well.
My sister is 8 and she had no issues reading this book, but she's also an advanced reader for her age. I'd say most kids could get full enjoyment out of this in the 9+ range, and adults at any age!
This graphic novel is basically the five girls you see on the cover at a camp in the middle of some magic-infested woods. Something weird--that no one else seems to notice--is going on so these girls are trying to unravel this mystery and do so by tramping around the forest, participating in camp activities, and more.
It's a good book and I plan to by the next ones as well.
I enjoyed it and my little sister (10yr) did too. Basically, it's a good book for a variety of ages.
I'm really glad to see this wave of fresh comics that refresh the female ideal, especially when I grew up in the 80's with like Rogue and Storm, etc.