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By Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis (Authors) and Brooke Allen (Illustrator)

Boom! Studios Box imprint (Publisher)

> Review by Carolyn Marcille

Friends that I’ve made in the past decade are always surprised to find out that I was a Girl Scout. Their surprise is probably because, by the time I was in 8th grade, I was basically a textbook Goth kid. Turns out that I probably would have fit in great with this text’s titular Lumberjanes, five young girls at camp learning how to canoe, build fires, track woodland creatures…and fight monsters. Lumberjanes is a gorgeously colored, riotous book, full of female empowerment, charm and humor. Reminiscent of Adventure Time (the series share a writer), Lumberjanes’ all-female creative team provides the reader with a book that is super fun, full of quirky visuals, name drops to famous women and wacky catchphrases. But it’s thoughtful as well, and makes an excellent effort at challenging gender stereotypes. The girls are all visually distinct and possessed of cheerful, strong and irreverent personalities, Ripley especially (see what I mean about name drops?). The reader is immediately dropped into the action (literally; the story begins with the Janes successfully fighting off a pack of three-eyed wolves), with no recitation of a backstory that gives a hint as to why these young women are so well disposed towards the weird. But the characters are so immediately engaging that a background isn’t required; actually, the presentation of cleverness, strength and charisma as innate to the girls without any sort of magical influence or cosmic weirdness is pretty cool; their abilities haven’t been given to them by a mystical force. Instead, they’re just naturally awesome young women. The text is the perfect mix of Yetis and girl power, and I can’t wait for more.

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