________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 5. . . .October 2, 2015


Brain Camp.

Susan Kim & Laurence Klavin. Artwork by Faith Erin Hicks. Color by Hilary Sycamore.
New York, NY: Square Fish/Macmillan (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books), 2010/2015.
151 pp., trade pbk., $11.50.
ISBN 978-1-250-06292-5.

Grades 7-9 / Ages 12-14.

Review by Natalie Schembri.

*** /4



We’ve had two campers withdraw unexpectedly. Based on profiles submitted by schools, we’ve chose Lucas for one of these open slots….

….chosen Jenna for one of these slots.


Brain Camp tells the story of the summer campers who attend America’s “best new educational summer camp, guaranteed to prepare any child for the SATs and beyond.” Camp Fielding prides itself in its claim to guarantee scholastic success to its attendees. When Mr. Oswald arrives late one night to provide Jenna and Lucas with invitations to attend Camp Fielding, their respective parents jump at the opportunity to help their “underachieving” children succeed academically.

     But why do Jenna and Lucas witness campers vomiting feathers? What is the bird-like creature that Jenna finds outside her cabin window? Why do the other campers look like they are in a zombie-like trance? Early into their stay at Camp Fielding, Jenna and Lucas begin to learn the disturbing truth behind why the campers are guaranteed increased intelligence upon completion of summer camp.

     Kim and Klavan’s eerie tale of summer camp, and Hicks’ carton-style artwork come together to tell an eerie and suspenseful tale of friendship, aliens, and zombie-like behavior.

     I recommend selecting Brain Camp for school and public library graphic novel collections. This is the perfect graphic novel for youth who enjoy smart, mysterious, and quirky tales. One disclaimer: there are some scenes that present mature, coming-of-age content. I would suggest housing Brain Camp in the young adult section of the library collection.


Natalie Schembri is a librarian in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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