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Lumberjanes, Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy: 09/21/17

Lumberjanes, Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson

My recent involvement in Girl Scouts both as a parent and as co-leader has made me aware of how scouting is portrayed in children's fiction, especially those stories that involve girls as scouts. These fictional girls are rarely actual Girl Scouts — one exception being Zomorod "Cindy" Yousefzadeh in It Ain't So Awful, Falafel.

Most of the time the girl or girls who are scouting are members of some other type of troop — a fictional organization — that comprises either what the author remembers about scouting or what the author has heard or worse imagined about scouting for girls. Examples include: the Fireside Girls in Phineas and Ferb, the Pine Scouts, Flower Scouts, and Star Scouts in Star Scouts, and now the Lumberjanes series by Noelle Stevenson which comes closest to being Girl Scouts but without being Girl Scouts. Clearly though it's built on some nostalgic memories of the wackier aspects of being a scout.

This first volume begins with a warning — "Beware the Kitten Holy" which the girls will experience first hand after a very strange outing after their canoeing experience goes well beyond awry. Imagine if you will, a strong, wacky group of girls at summer camp where there is something supernatural afoot. These aren't girls who need rescuing — these are capable heroes who do the rescuing, even as their assigned camp counselor is having fits over their misadventures. There are waterfalls, mysterious lighthouses, magical creatures, a cave to explore, riddles to solve, an arm wrestling contest — and each and every girl has something to contribute. Who is best at what isn't made obvious by cliches or tropes. The girls know each other's strengths and weaknesses and they support each other.


The arm wrestling scene brought back fond memories of when I was the champ of our sixth grade class.

The second album is Friendship to the Max.

Five stars

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