Friday, October 20, 2017

Me on Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power!

Title: Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power!
Author: Mariko Tamaki
Illustrator: Brooke A. Allen
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books (Abrams imprint)

Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen... and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella's, where the woods contain endless mysteries. Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they've ever seen, things don't go quite as planned. For one, they didn't expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns.

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! is an adventure of epic proportions, because when can you have more fun if not at camp with your best friends wandering through the woods, investigating mysteries, and finding supernatural creatures grazing in fields?

This book is about everyone of cabin Roanoke. Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley. Even Jen and her near-constant worrying if the girls are really paying attention to what she wants them to do. But in little ways it's a bit more about April. It's April who often leads them on adventures, plotting and planning beforehand. It's April who doesn't stop, won't stop, and keeps moving. And it's April who leads them here, first looking for different types of plants and then up a mountain. It's all well and good to lead, to plot and plan, but sometimes you have to stop and think. You have to stop and ask your friends if they're all okay with climbing up a strange mountain.

Having read some of the comics, I think this is a great companion for young readers. It's quick and fun and messy like their comic adventures with a little more character insight and background than you'll get from a character's conflicted expression. Here in book form, the girls' thoughts and feelings are more accessible. And I fell in love with new character Barney, the genderqueer/non-binary camper who's new to the Lumberjanes. The illustrations by Brooke A. Allen were great, a wonderful reminder of the comic art and a great break in the prose. I would certainly recommend this to middle grade readers of the Lumberjanes comics.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Amulet Books through NetGalley.)

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