Lumberjanes: The Good Egg (Lumberjanes #3)by Mariko Tamaki, Brooklyn Allen Published 30 Oct 2018
|Lumberjanes: The Good Egg (Lumberjanes #3).pdf|
|Publisher||Harry N. Abrams|
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Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries.
Book three shines the spotlight on Ripley, the smallest, youngest, most animal-loving member of the cabin. When Ripley comes across an abandoned egg, she’s determined to take care of it until the parent comes back. Unfortunately, her plan is quickly foiled by egg poachers, who steal the egg for their own collection.
"Lumberjanes: The Good Egg (Lumberjanes #3)" Reviews
Once again I feel like these prose novels somehow read 'younger' than the graphic novel series, but it is a cute and fun story and I definitely think that children in the target age range will really enjoy it. I liked that we got to see more of Barney in this one [I love Barney!], but also it seemed like Mal and Molly were hardly in it at all and I love them too. I didn't pay too much attention in the first two books about which Lumberjane was the 'main' character being focused on, but this one was definitely Ripley-centric.
The Good Egg is probably the strongest instalment of this series to date, but will still hold the most appeal for people who are already familiar with the characters. I would strongly recommend reading some of the comics before you try this middle grade series. Not only does the story carry on directly where The Moon is Up left off, but it also makes reference to some things that only occur in the comics - such as the Bearwoman and Rosie's relationship.
While I did find it hard to get into this novel at first, mostly due to the odd references to different styles of theatre, I did think that the plot flowed a lot better than that of previous instalments. The narrative felt a loss less clumsy in this one and I think that this is mostly down to the fact that this time the narrative was largely split. While the main focus is on Ripley and the egg, there is also a subplot concerning the Lumberjanes preparing for a play which largely splits Mal and Molly from the cast. This meant that the narrative spent a lot time flipping between the perspectives of the girls and, in doing so, made it feel a lot less focused.
The story this time also carried a nice message concerning the importance of listening to your friends and noticing when they have something to say. It also acted as a story of empowerment for Ripley - the youngest member of the group - as she managed to prove that just because she was perceived as being the baby, it did not mean that she couldn't save the day.
The end of the story was very satisfying, allowing the girls to combine their skills to save the day. Unlike previous instalments of the series, this novel had a pretty solid ending that did not leave a hook for the sequel. However, it did neatly tie up all loose threads, ending in a wonderful climax in which the girls defeat the villains and save the day. However, I do wish that the plot concerning the play received a bit more focus. This did not really feature into the story as much as I would have liked, especially as we did not really see much of the thoroughly odd drama teacher who was introduced in this book.
In terms of characterisation, this book does a really good job of developing both Ripley and Barney. The two make a really good double-act, combining Barney's intelligence knack for observation with Ripley's enthusiasm and energy. I also liked that Barney got so much to do in this novel due to the fact that non-binary characters are so rare in literature. The novel touched upon the importance of their chosen pronoun in a very respectful way, giving the character an overwhelmingly positive depiction.
Yet, the rest of the characters fade into the background a bit. As this is Ripley's story this time, the other members of the Roanoke cabin don't get so much to do. The novel also continues to drop in characters that have a much larger role in the comics - such as Hes and Wren - despite the fact that they've never been adequately introduced in the novels.
Anyhow, I think that about covers it. All in all, I really enjoyed reading The Good Egg as, despite its flaws, it is the best novel in this series so far. I can't wait to find out what adventures the girls will have next.
I appreciate a little absurd humor in books catering to the reluctant reader crowd, but this one went too far out into left field. I didn't read books 1 and 2, so it's possible I missed something, but a story based on an egg obsession is pretty weak. Doesn't get my brain cells motivated much. This kind of humor does much better in graphic novels, so I can understand the popularity of the GN version. Kids love the idea of summer camp and camping, so there's definitely a good start here, but please, come up with something better than egg thieves in the woods.
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central
Summer is wearing on for the Lumberjanes; cabin cleaning must be done, and there is a slight feeling of ennui before the exciting appearance of Miss Annabelle Panache, who is going to help the campers put on plays, all based on classic fairy tales with a scouting twist! This is all very fun, but Ripley has other concerns. Previously, she had found a nest with very large golden eggs which also included a basketball sized egg to which she took a liking. Calling it "Eggie" and checking on it frequently, Ripley is fond of the egg, but when the other eggs hatch and it doesn't, Ripley puts it in another nest. Unfortunately, the egg is stolen out of that nest, and Ripley hears Rosie the counselor and Bearwoman (a shape shifter who inhabits the woods near the camp) talking about Eggie being taken by the Order of the Golden Egg. Determined to find her friend, Ripley tries her best, but sinks into despondency. Meanwhile, work proceeds on the various plays. Eventually, Ripley and Barney decide to go in search of Eggie, even if it means a run in with the Order. Given the nature of Eggie, will they be able to find it before it is too late?
This is a continuation of both a graphic novel series and two other illustrated novels, and familiarity with these will help. There are a fairly large number of characters, and while they have distinct characteristics, not all of them make large appearances in this volume. Jen, who breaks into nervous laughter at the slightest provocation, Ripley, and Rosie and the Bearwoman are the focus of this volume.
The illustrations are appealing, although since they are rendered only in shades of red, Ripley's blue hair isn't well represented! They have a manga-like feel and add to the descriptions of the diverse, powerful scouts. They are goofy when they need to be (e.g. Miss Panache)
The camp itself is set in a fantasy world where griffins, shape shifters and other mythical creatures often appear without much explanation. Readers who enjoyed the graphic novels or books like Stevenson's Nimona, Brooks' Sanity and Tallulah or Wang's The Prince and the Dressmaker will find this a pleasant way to while away some reading time.
I like to think that I understand middle grade literature, and, more importantly, what middle grade readers want to read. Sports books or all kinds, radioactive pocket pets, villainous principals, and cheesy romances are all things that I can appreciate from an eleven year old perspective. I have even managed to write thoughtful and critical reviews of about a dozen Geronimo Stilton books for Young Adult Books Central, and since they have the same exact plot and character features every single time, this is no mean feat. ( I had two students who moved to our school from Gujarat, India and thought Geronimo was the best thing ever, and this was a way to obtain those books for them!)
Sometimes, though, I just don't get it. Bogbrush the Barbarian (2010)? I wrote a review so mean that I couldn't even post it. Other people liked the book, but I just didn't understand. I think this is true for the following book. It's the mixture of twee (Really? I had to read the phrase "Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types" more than once?), underexplained on-trend political correctness (I understand that Barney prefers nonbinary pronouns, but I'm not sure if my 6th graders would), and just plain odd (see book description below) that made it hard for me to enjoy this.
But that's just me. Other people seem to enjoy these books, especially the graphic novel series on which the novels are apparently based. See? Unfamiliarity with the entire series does not help in this case. So read this one for yourself and decide if it is something that would be a good fit for you.
Each of these improves upon the last. So, I'm not happy about having to wait another half year for the final book in this set. On the plus side, there is only a tiny inkling of a teaser and I'm fairly certain that that particular teaser was written into the comic some time ago. So, I think it's unlikely to refer to the fourth volume.
I also appreciated the use of Zodiac cabin in this story which is fairly Ripley oriented. I can only assume that last book will try and focus on April.
One other side note, am I the only one feeling that Mariko Tamaki prefers inventing new Badges and punny names for them to actually writing the stories?
This one read maybe a touch younger than the previous two, but that felt kind of appropriate given this was the Ripley-centroc book and she's the youngest of the central crew. I really appreciated getting more Barney. It's so lovely to see a genderqueer character written at once so carefully and so casually