Vera Vance attends comics-making camp and dreams of attending the final field trip in this installment of the After-School Superstars series.
Third-grader Vera Vance is totally into comics, so she is excited to attend an after-school camp devoted to making comics with her friend Nixie (of Nixie Ness, Cooking Star, 2019). Vera has a hard time sticking up for herself, so she suffers through experiences like making a final project with Nixie when she really wants to work on her own project. And when her mom, who values grades and piano but not comics, says no to the camp’s final field trip to a comic-con, Vera is crushed, seeing no way to change her mother’s mind. But at the last minute, all her camp lessons about the hero’s journey and the power of comics come together with Vera’s talent to make a pretty brilliant bid for reaching her goal. Vera’s shyness will be appreciated and understood by many readers. Her character stays real throughout, and the lovely wrap-up shows how every personality type in any situation can find a way to use their strengths to reach their goals. Vera’s dad died years ago, a fact remarked on in brief but emotional musings. Full-page, black-and-white illustrations punctuate most chapters, depicting brown-skinned Vera with an afropuff and Nixie as white, while the small font pushes the boundary between chapter book and middle grade.
Readers who stick around to see Vera become her own hero are in for a satisfying read. (Fiction. 6-9)