Summer Vamp

Random House Graphic. May 2024. 240p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9780593425237.
Gr 5-8–As if it wasn’t bad enough that Maya’s dad’s girlfriend is going to move in with them, Maya realizes too late that the summer camp she's attending is not the culinary camp that was promised, but one filled with vampires, instead. Will they want to suck her blood? Fortunately, the campers haven’t yet figured out that Maya is human, and to Maya they’re surprisingly normal. They wear extra sunscreen, drink their blood boxes, and have an unhealthy attachment to their phones, but still want to make friends. With all the humor a middle grade graphic novel can pack into a summer camp story about friendship, Karim’s debut is superb. Maya’s predicament is anything but ordinary, but she finds ways to overcome obstacles, and even if it wasn’t what she wished for, she is happy for the experience that builds resiliency. The lightheartedness underscores changes in Maya’s life that are realistic, even in the fantasy setting. Karim’s expressive characters allow plenty of space for the dialogue and movement to meld perfectly into one another on the page and between panels, highlighting the situations and settings in an appealing way.
VERDICT A romp of a summer camp story that isn’t to be missed.

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