Middle school. Drama. The two are synonymous. Put them together as "middle school drama," and heck, it just ups the ante. Callie is a seventh grade theater geek who can't sing a bar. She also seems to have a chronic problem of crushing on the wrong guy. But she doesn't let her lack of musicality stop her from getting involved; she is a faithful member of stage crew and devotes herself to doing a "bang" up job designing sets on a limited budget, including - she hopes - a confetti cannon. As for romance, she's working on getting that right, too.
What I Love:
- Callie's purple hair (pink in the front), which is similar to several students at my middle school
- Twins Justin and Jesse who are both best friends and individuals with distinct personalities
- Raina Telgemeier's simple, well-drawn, full color illustrations. Oh yeah, it's a graphic novel!
- How it's a play (Moon Over Mississippi) within a play (the overall structure of the novel)
- The drama. From unrequited crushes to on-stage catastrophes, it feels authentic
- A diverse cast of boys, girls, gays, Asians, African-Americans, glasses-clad kids, athletes and drama queens (and kings). No matter who you are, it's not just okay to be yourself, it is imperative.
Read it if:
- You were/are/aspire to be a drama nerd
- You watch Glee (yes, this is drama, not show choir, but it has a similar feel)
- Contemporary fiction (with a little romance) is your thing
- You want something quick and entertaining, but don't want to slack on story or characters
I'm ashamed to say that I haven't yet had a chance to read Telgemeier previous graphic novel, Smile, which won the 2011 Eisner Award (basically the Oscars for comics) for Best Publication for Teens. I'll have to get on that.
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