Synopsis from Simon & Schuster:
From the creator of Fake Blood comes another exceptionally charming middle grade graphic novel about friendships both near and far, far away.
Vega’s summer vacation is not going well.
When her parents decide it’s time to pack up and leave her hometown of Portland, Oregon, behind for boring Seattle, Washington, Vega is more than upset—she’s downright miserable. Forced to leave her one and only best friend, Halley, behind, Vega is convinced she’ll never make another friend again.
To help her settle into her new life in Seattle, her parents send Vega off to summer camp to make new friends. Except Vega is determined to get her old life back. But when her cellphone unexpectedly calls it quits and things at camp start getting stranger and stranger, Vega has no choice but to team up with her bunkmates to figure out what’s going on!
About: Long Distance is a middle grade graphic novel written and illustrated by Whitney Gardner. It will be published on 6/29/2021 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 320 pages. The genres are middle grade fiction, graphic novel, science fiction, and contemporary. This book was intended for readers ages 10 and up, grades 5 and up. According to the publisher’s website, “Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers is the flagship imprint of the S&S Children’s Division. We are committed to publishing a wide range of contemporary, commercial, award-winning fiction and nonfiction that spans every age of children’s publishing. BFYR is constantly looking to the future, supporting our foundation authors and franchises, but always with an eye for breaking new ground with every publication. We are also deeply invested in developing new talent, new formats, and new avenues of publication.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Long Distance on 6/27/2021 and finished it on 6/28/2021. A fantastic book for kids! How to make friends is definitely something everyone need including myself. I have moved away from my friends a few times and it’s hard making friends every time. I liked the steps to making friends and how each chapter showed the characters applying it. At chapter 3, “take the first step,” I thought Vega has an opportunity to make friends if she accepted Isaac’s offer to look at something but Vega refused because she still thought she’s fine with her long distance friend from back home. However, the characters do live up to this chapter’s advice because activities and situations gave them the opportunities to reach out and talked to each other. I liked the mystery and problem solving. It’s a plus that the problem only got solved when others joined the siblings. It reminded readers that more minds are better than a couple. The mystery got the characters involved and they determined to solve a problem that they forgot about being awkward trying to make a friend.
This book followed Vega as she said goodbye to her best friend Halley from Portland, OR because she’s moving to Seattle, WA. One of her dads has gotten a new job. They planned to stay in touch and keep their friendship long distance. Vega’s dad wanted Vega to attend a summer camp to make new friends. Vega was reluctant to but only agreed to go if her dad also made efforts to make friends too. Vega tried to contact Halley repeatedly but received no response. Vega’s fellow campers told a ghost story that got everyone on edge. At night, each person heard something and ran out. They bumped into each other and began solving a mystery together. It led them to something they totally unexpected to see. This book has steps on how to make friends by organizing each step at each chapter.
Long Distance was well written, illustrated, and organized. A modern take to tween books where two dads was introduced in this story. I liked that Vega was into stargazing. It’s always great when kids has an interest other than internet/social media. I’m not hesitant to have my 9 year-old son read this book because I think Vega, Qwerty, Gemma, and Isaac can be good role models to young readers. Gemma loved to collect rocks. Loved the explanations to thunder eggs, sextant, how signals flow, etc. The story summed up nicely. Great ending! I liked the diversity in this book. A must read book for kids and I highly recommend everyone to read it.
I rate it 5 stars!
Tag Lines: camping, social situations, outdoors, friendship,
About the Author:
Whitney Gardner is an author, illustrator, and cartoonist living by the Salish Sea with her husband and two pugs. She started drawing stick figures in second grade and somehow no one’s been able to stop her. If there’s ever a moment when she isn’t drawing she’s likely to be found baking, tending to her many houseplants, or rolling twenty-sided dice. Her favorite color is, and always will be, yellow. She is the author of the YA novels You’re Welcome, Universe and Chaotic Good, as well as the creator of Fake Blood and Long Distance and the illustrator for Debbie Levy’s Becoming RBG. (Photo and info obtained from Simon & Schuster’s website, book pictures obtained from Edelweiss).
More Information about Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.