Vol 1, Beware the Kitten Holy: co-written by Grace Ellis, Faith Erin Hicks, illustrated by Brooke A. Allen, Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Carolyn Nowak, Carey Pietsch
Lumberjanes takes place at a summer camp for Hard-Core Lady-Types. It is modeled after Girl Scouts, with pledges and badges, which become the theme of each issue. The story focuses on one cabin's occupants: Jo, Ripley, April, Molly, and Mal. Each of these ladies are strong and positive, and they are encouraging to one another. In this volume's adventure, there are three-eyed monsters everywhere, a white-water canoe ride, and a creepy cave guarded by stone warriors. At the cave's center is a room full of anagrams, one being "Beware the Kitten Holy." They also find a strange tower and a boys' camp. With each slice of adventure, a different Lumberjane has the chance to exhibit her talents.
I thought this story was very cute and full of positive energy. No one gets left out of activities, and every girl is celebrated for her talents and contributions. There are some fun phrases that can be repeated for those in the know ("What the junk?!"), and are fun alternatives to swearing. The story is action-packed and hardly has any lulls. The artwork is a little unpolished, but presents as sort of whimsical and youthful. This story builds a supportive and affirming world with inclusivity, positive characters, and fun adventures.
Although the characters seem to range from elementary age to adult, the audience this story is best suited for is middle grade. High School students will still enjoy these stories. Elementary students can still read them and enjoy them, but will miss some of the references and jokes - none of them are inappropriate, just require knowledge.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 5-10
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Realistic Fiction, Friendship
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