Book Review – Secrets of Camp Whatever

Secrets of Camp Whatever
by Chris Grine
(Oni Press, 2021)

At a Glance

Category/Genre(s):

Middle grade paranormal fantasy

Age Range:

8-12

From the Publisher:

“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.” (source)

Strengths:

  • Fun, cryptid adventure
  • Hard of hearing representation
  • Fast-paced
  • Great art

Full Review

I was originally drawn to this graphic novel by the cover. I feel like this is a time that you can judge a book by its cover – I expected Secrets of Camp Whatever to be a spooky and fun middle grade read and it definitely delivers. I am a big fan of all things cryptids and this book is filled with them. Camp Whatever feels like it could exist within the animated show Gravity Falls, which I thought was great.

One of the things that I especially liked is the diversity in the cast. The main character, Willow is hard of hearing and I always celebrate when underrepresented characters get to just “be” in a book. While her hearing comes into play within the story, the story does not revolve around Willow overcoming disability.

Overall, Secrets of Camp Whatever is fast-paced and fun. The art is great and fits the slightly spooky tone of the book. My 11-year-old daughter also thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. We both hope that there will be a sequel because it feels like the setting has so much more to offer.

Final Verdict

If you like a good spooky mystery, enjoyed Lumberjanes, or like the animated show Gravity Falls, definitely give Secrets of Camp Whatever a look.


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