Graphic Novels to Take (You) to Summer Camp

Graphic Novels to Take (You) to Summer Camp

It’s nearly the end of summer but it’s okay! There’s still time for summer camp or to at least read some graphic novels about it. Here’s a selection of middle-grade reads that feature those summer camp vibes:

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol (First Second)

Fitting in can be hard no matter where you are, especially when you’re sent off to a niche summer camp filled with complete strangers! Vera Brosgol expertly navigates the dread and anxiety that comes with experiencing summer camp for the first time in this very relatable story in a semi-autobiographical tale based on author Vera Brosgol’s own childhood.

“All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!”


Long Distance by Whitney Gardner (Simon Kids)

I loved the heck out of Fake Blood so it’s no surprise that its spiritual sequel is also a dang delight. This story does such a fab job of putting us in a hesitant kids’ shoes as they explore not just a new city for the first time but a new experience in going to summer camp. Of course, there’s a fun, quirky twist here to the camp that makes Vega very justified in her hesitancy…but it’s not the far out spin that makes it special so much as the journey that we go on with Vega.

“Vega’s summer vacation is not going well. When her parents decide it’s time to pack up and leave her hometown of Portland, Oregon, behind for boring Seattle, Washington, Vega is more than upset–she’s downright miserable. Forced to leave her one and only best friend, Halley, behind, Vega is convinced she’ll never make another friend again.

To help her settle into her new life in Seattle, her parents send Vega off to summer camp to make new friends. Except Vega is determined to get her old life back. But when her cellphone unexpectedly calls it quits and things at camp start getting stranger and stranger, Vega has no choice but to team up with her bunkmates to figure out what’s going on!”


Camp by Kayla Miller (Clarion/Etch)

Learning to share, especially when it comes to your friends, can be such a big thing to tackle at a young age. It’s easy to feel alone and isolated when you’re dropped into a new setting and presented with all kinds of options for people to hang out with. But meeting new people, embracing a chance to expand your friend circle, and experiencing new things is good for us! Olive has to navigate these things and overcome her own feelings in this wonderful and relatable story.

“Olive is sure she’ll have the best time at summer camp with her friend Willow – but while Olive makes quick friends with the other campers, Willow struggles to form connections and latches on to the only person she knows – Olive. It’s s’more than Olive can handle! The stress of being Willow’s living security blanket begins to wear on Olive and before long…the girls aren’t just fighting, they may not even be friends by the time camp is over. Will the two be able to patch things up before the final lights out?”


Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen (Boom! Studios)

This book has been an instant classic from the moment it hit store shelves and for good reason. Lumberjanes is the inclusive, fun, hilarious, and heartfelt story that so many of us had been craving! It’s an absolute joy to read time and time again, and the adventures that this crew have are impossible to not love.

“Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp…defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons…what’s not to love?!

Friendship to the max! 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!”


Secrets of Camp Whatever by Chris Grine (Oni Press)

“Eleven year-old Willow doesn’t want to go to her dad’s weird old summer camp any more than she wants her family to move to the weird old town where that camp is located. But her family–and fate itself–seem to have plans of their own. Soon Willow finds herself neck-deep in a confounding mystery involving stolen snacks, suspected vampires, and missing campers, all shrouded in the sinister fog that hides a generation of secrets at Camp … Whatever it’s called.”



What are your favourite comics and graphic novels about summer camp? Share your suggestions and recommendations in the comments!