cover artNo, LumberJanes has nothing to do with purgatory, I’ll tell you a bit about that later.

LumberJanes: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis is a fun graphic novel that brings together teenage girls and camp and adventure. The five girls each has her own special talent whether it be archery or math or puzzles, that she is able to use in their adventure to solve a mystery.

In the end the mystery doesn’t get completely solved, only partially, and we are left with a cliffhanger, which is fine because since this is volume one I presume there is going to be a continuation of the story in volume two. Only thing is, there is no volume two published yet so I’ll have to wait. More than the mystery though is the friendship between the five girls. They are in the adventure together and they work through the obstacles and problem-solving as friends not as individuals competing against each other. There is a section of the story that is very much a play off of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark where it would have been easy to split the group apart but instead we see them stick together, hat and all.

The book is broken up into chapters and each chapter begins with a badge —Up All Night Badge for example — and a page from the LumberJanes field manual talking about the badge and what is required for a LumberJane to acquire it. It should be no surprise that the plot of the chapter takes the adventure along a route that has something to do with the badge.

It’s all in good fun. A fast, easy read with an entertaining story and great artwork, it’s girl power on an every day sort of level. None of the girls are extraordinary nor are their adventures presented as something unusual. In fact, when they find themselves at the nearby boys’ camp, the boys offer them fresh-baked cookies and tea and there is no indication at all that this might somehow be not what boy campers would, should, or could enjoy doing. Check it out for a little afternoon entertainment and then hand it off to a tween/teen girl to enjoy.


Purgatory is deceptively pretty

Purgatory is deceptively pretty

I am not a LumberJane but I do enjoy a good bike adventure. Bookman was a good sport and took a ride with me today. We went to Purgatory Park. Purgatory has a creek too called Purgatory Creek. It is not a picnic and ballpark park but a wild-ish green patch in the midst of the outer suburbs. It is a trail around wetlands and the creek through trees and generally very nice and woodsy.

I was thinking Purgatory was a pretty pleasant place until we hit the hills. The hills are not big and long but short and steep. One in particular I struggled to get up and wished I had one more gear as I was pedaling as hard as I could and barely moving. I realized after I made it to the top that it might have been a good opportunity to practice standing up and pedaling. By the time I realized this it was too late and it turned out to be our last really hard hill. Oh well. Next time.

All in all, the trip to Purgatory and back was 41.7 miles/67km. Not too shabby.