Brain Camp

brain-campWritten by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
160 pages, color
Published by First Second (:01)

Ever feel like you’ll never measure up to your parents’ standards? Ever get shipped off to a summer camp to “fix” you? Well, that’s the starting premise of Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan and Faith Erin Hicks.

In the beginning of Brain Camp, we’re introduced to two 14-year-olds who don’t measure up to their parents’ expectations of them. That’s when a mysterious stranger shows up late at night to offer these two kids a chance to attend an invite-only summer camp guaranteed to make them smarter.

Now, while at first this seems like a fairly standard Stepford Wives-type of story, Kim, Klavan and Hicks manage to pull off something that’s different enough to draw you in to see what’s going on because some kids are suddenly vomiting up feathers… Is there a plague affecting the camp? What’s causing all of these kids to be magically smarter?

The story is fantastic, suspenseful and quite clever. It’s also very creepy and weird (which is a great draw for me). The art by Faith Erin Hicks was truly enough to keep me reading through the book even if the story wasn’t good (but it totally is). This book is the total package.

As a small caveat, I know that I have some readers out there that may be offended by language, emotional abuse or disturbing imagery. Well, then you may want to read this book before handing one to your kids, but this book is probably considered a PG-13, I would assume so that’s a good measure anyway.

If you’re looking for a story to creep you out even more about summer camps, or just a wild ride that gets creepier as it goes, then Brain Camp is a graphic novel for you.

I can’t wait to read more books from these guys!

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