Out of Time

9781608868605. ea vol: (Lumberjanes). Boom! Studios. pap. $14.99.
Gr 4–8—The Lumberjanes quintet return in these two adventure-filled volumes of the girl power graphic novel series. Friendships and romances are tested in A Terrible Plan as Mal and Molly embark on their first-ever semidate. Hoping to escape their usual madcap, monster-driven outings, the teens set out to have a quiet picnic but are duly interrupted by the Bear Woman, a magical portal, and dinosaurs. Meanwhile, the other girls, led by a determined April, hope to earn badges for "normal" camp activities, like scrapbooking and cake decorating. Their efforts are often met with disaster. Multiple art styles are used by various artists in this installment, some more successful than others. In Out of Time, the team's camp counselor Jen is separated from them during a freak snowstorm and her charges desperately try to locate her with Camp Director Rosie's help. Jen is rescued by a former camper who has her own malicious agenda. This volume most explicitly explores the costs of friendship and the tension that can arise from differences in opinion and bullying. A subplot involving Jo and Barnes (a boy from the neighboring camp) reveals Ripley's own insecurities and hints at her identity as a trans girl. Secrets from the past are revealed via sepia-tinged flashbacks, adding suspense. Both titles feature rambunctious illustrations that pop off the page and the sparkling dialogue with feminist leanings that fans have grown to expect.
VERDICT Must-have selections for all middle school collections, especially where the previous entries are popular.

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