Summer camp tests the bond between best friends in this new graphic novel.
Olive and Willow are besties who are lucky enough to go to summer camp together at Acorn Lake; they even share a bunk bed in their cabin. Initially, they are inseparable, always together during camp activities. Right away, Willow begins to become anxious and homesick, while Olive is enjoying the ride and making friends. Willow doesn’t like the food, she doesn’t want to join in with most of the activities, and she wants Olive by her side at all times. At first, Olive feels obligated to take care of Willow and stays close by, but inevitably, the two get into a fight and spend the next couple of days apart. But eventually Willow begins to make new friends, joining a newly formed band with the other kids, and she and Olive slowly find their ways back to each other. The emotional beats are believable, and Olive and Willow are well-enough developed that readers will sympathize with them both. Miller illustrates a very culturally diverse group of campers, representing different races and a range of gender expressions. Though the races of the protagonists aren’t specified, both are light-skinned, Olive with dark hair and Willow with blonde.
All in all, a sweet summer camp story about friendship in a multicultural setting. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)