Secrets of Camp Whatever Vol. 1

Oni. Mar. 2021. 272p. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781620108628.
Gr 4-7–Willow, a Latinx biracial tween with purple hair, is not pleased to be moving with her family to the town of “Nowhere.” To make matters worse, she is being dropped off at the same weeklong summer camp her dad used to attend. Willow also has to deal with an odd camp director who patronizes her once he finds out she is deaf and wears hearing aids. But all those troubles fade when she and her cabinmates discover that the foggy island is inhabited by supernatural creatures. Friendship, humor, and teamwork help them grapple with Bigfoot, a witch, gnomes, and a vampire. Grine’s clean and appealing illustrations flow well. The art suits this whimsical mystery. Backgrounds are minimal, with more detail paid to the strange creatures and eerie woods than to the campers, and the palette is subdued, dominated by grays, lavenders, and blues.
VERDICT Sure to be a hit with young readers, especially fans of the “Lumberjanes” books and the TV series Gravity Falls. The conclusion hints that more magical adventures await Willow and her friends, which makes this new series one to invest in.

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