Be Prepared

By Noga, Age 11

In my Israeli home, I’d smell fresh aromas from the kitchen, hear a chaotic buzz of Hebrew, and live with high energy. However, I led a somewhat double life, my American identity being completely different. At times, I felt alone in this confusing dual world. My outlook changed when I found Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol: a book that made me feel like never before. The plot centers around Vera’s experiences in a Russian summer camp. I especially resonated with the scene where Vera goes to a birthday sleepover. She feels left out at the party, as she is different from her friends. She then has her own birthday party, and while she does everything that she can to make it perfect, it’s ‘too weird’ for everyone else. Like Vera, I feel different compared to others as well, and face discomfort in my own skin. I also felt my experiences mirrored in how Vera doesn’t exactly fit in. I’ve never fully classified myself as American, nor Israeli, and struggled to fit into two dissimilar cultures. Seeing this normalized was heavily meaningful for me, and it was refreshing to know that these feelings exist. Be Prepared made me feel finally seen.

Leave a Comment