Rummanah Aasi
 At the Annual ALA Conference in San Francisco this year, I attended a Graphic Novel panel that discussed and explored diversity in many forms from gender, sexuality, and race to name a few. One of the graphic novelists on the panel was Noelle Stevenson who first started her career as a webcomic creator but her career soon blossomed into a published graphic novelist as her popularity soared and she received critical acclaim for her webcomics and graphic novels.

Description: Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together...and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!

Review: Lumberjanes is a fun filled graphic novel series that focuses on female power and female friendships. The setting for the first volume of this graphic novel is set at a summer camp with creepy paranormal events happening in the least expected places. Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley, are our five campers at the "Hardcore Lady Types" from a diverse backgrounds and body shapes. The graphic novel begins in mid-adventure as the five girls are out after hours investigating a strange event that they all witnessed: a woman turning into a giant bear. 
This is just the first of many odd occurrences for the girls who call themselves the Lumberjanes, as the scouts are called, band together to solve puzzles, defeat three-eyed creatures, and escape the ire of their watchful counselor Jen. I loved how each camper has a skill that helps the group conquer each challenge that pops up in their way. The girls are all spunky, lovable characters sparkle with exuberant personality and challenge gender stereotypes. There is also a subtle same-sex relationship developing in the background as Molly and Mal share tender glances at each other. 
  At the opening of each chapter, an excerpt from the Lumberjanes field guide is included and a gallery of cover images append the book. References to female heroines such as Bessie Coleman and Joan Jett are sprinkled throughout the graphic novel. The artwork is very playful as it exudes humor and reinforces themes of teamwork and friendship. You may recognize the artwork style from Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl which is also illustrated by Stevenson. Overall, I enjoyed this volume and I look forward to continuing this series. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 5 and up.

If you like this book try: Chiggers by Hope Larson, Lumberjanes Vol 2 by Noelle Stevenson
4 Responses
  1. Ohh, I think this would be perfect for my kid. She's only just starting 3rd grade, but she reads above her level. And the message of friendship and feminism is certainly something I approve of. I'll try to get my hands on a copy.

  2. I saw this one somewhere recently and I thought it looked interesting. I am definitely going to keep it in mind for Risa. I like the sound of the girls working together to solve paranormal mysteries and puzzles.

  3. Oh I like the sound of this one. I also think I have the perfect kids in mind to read this one. I love books that have diversity within!

  4. Kindlemom Says:

    Ooo female power! That sounds like fun and like a great read for younger girls.

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