Rating: 5 Stars
The setting? Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types. Jo, April, Mal, Molly and and Ripley are best friends seeking to have an amazing summer up at camp and working towards earning their badges as Lumberjanes. Magical quests and supernatural mysteries set them up for a summer they won’t forget.
I don’t know that I’ve ever loved a graphic novel more than this series. I’ve read Issues 1-22 (only the first three volumes are currently in print). Think Scooby-doo mystery meets but kicking girl guides at camp. You get adventure, mysterious magical puzzles that need solving, and the brilliance of strong, well written female characters.
First and foremost, I love the characters. You’ve got LGBT characters and different ethnic groups represented. There are primarily female characters (some male). They have brilliant strengths and belivable weaknesses. They believe in the importance friendship above all else, and are truly a brilliant team despite all their differences.
The capers they get involved in are also a lot of fun. You find all kinds of strange things (werewolves, mermaids, secret magic caverns). I really just can’t wait to get my hands on every issue that comes out.
Recommendations: All ages. Its utterly brilliant how wide the net of appropriateness this graphic novel spreads. I’ve had grade 6 boys claw at getting their hands on the next issue of Lumberjanes. I have students who come back and tell me that they took it home, they read it and loved it, had their parents read it, then their 9 year old sister read it, it transcends much like Diary of a Wimpy kid. A graphic novel win.
Themes: friendship, feminism, inclusion, LGBT, believing in yourself, supporting others