Review for Secrets of Camp Whatever Vol. 1

Review for Secrets of Camp Whatever Vol. 1

Secrets of Camp Whatever Vol. 1, Chris Grine, Camp, Summer Camp, Spooky, Creepy, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Mystery, Girls, Camp, Forest, Hand, Lantern, Fog, Gnome, Petrified Gnome, Deaf, Children's Books, Night, MoonA girl moves to a new place (Nowhere) and immediately is shipping to a summer camp (Camp Whatever). From there magical stories happen and adventures are aplenty.

Meet Willow, an eleven-year old deaf girl. She is NOT amused by her parents decision to move and is even less happy with the whole having to go to a camp. I can imagine. Two new things in one go? No thank you. But she soon finds out that she is in for a bit adventure and that the world is more magical and weird than she ever would have thought.

I loved seeing a deaf character in a book. It is still not something that happens a lot and so I am happy to see one each time. Because it is definitely needed. I loved seeing her use sign language and also teach her friends bits and pieces. I felt for her when the batteries were stolen (along with the snacks) and hoped that she would get new batteries soon. I loved how the illustrator/author showed us that Willow couldn’t hear by making the text bubbles from others empty.

Willow was an amazing character, and I loved that she followed her own path. That she isn’t afraid. That she is brave and willing to figure out the mystery. There are many scary moments coming up and she braves them all. Go go Willow. She becomes my favourite character.

I had such a big laugh that Willow and her fellow bunkmates/friends kept tricking their camp counsellor. 😛

I would have liked a bit more of camp, more activities, more camp stuff. Now we didn’t see a lot of it and I missed it.

The campdirector was the worst, and not just how he was acting and what his evil plans are.. but also because of how he treated Willow when he learns she is deaf (though with hearing aids she can hear enough). He keeps shouting at her and instead of listening to her when she wants to tell him that isn’t necessary he just shrugs it off.
His silly way of looking didn’t help either. He looked like a fatter and eviler version of Nigel Thornberry and that really isn’t the image you want in your head when you are reading this book. 😛 It really distracted me from reading.

I loved loved loved the mystery. There is just so much happening right from the start. Not just at the camp but before Willow gets to the camp. The things that were said at restaurant or before the kids boarded the boat. You just knew that things were about to get spooky! And it did. I loved discovering more and more about the island, about what is happening there, who Elrich is, who the lunch lady is (I still call vampire :P), what is stealing the snacks, and WHY JUST WHY there are so many stone gnomes. I loved going with Willow and her friends and discover more of this island. I would have loved to see more of the book she got later on from Elrich. Maybe a few pages here and there scattered throughout the book? That would have made it all better.
There are definitely things I would like to see on the island as it feels like we only got a peek under the curtains. I want more. Some more mythology some more stories about it.

The art was OK-ish. I liked the designs on the kids, but the adults almost all seemed caricatures and it felt just very odd and strange. Was this meant to be?

The ending was good though, oh my at that shot on Willow’s arm. Mm, I remember something that was said at the beginning. Does this mean something big is coming up? I wonder what is going to happen in the next volume. Since this is the first volume. Will we be spending another short few weeks at the camp? Or will we see Willow settle in this strange and magical town? I am definitely in for both.

Star rating, 4 stars

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