Total Pageviews

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier. Scholastic, 2012. $11.99 ages 10 and up

"Well, HE seems nice.
Callie, I wouldn't get too
attached to the performers.
It'll only distract you from
what's most important. Our
job is to stay focused on what's
BEHIND the stage.
You'd rather we just ignore
each other completely?"

I make it completely clear to anyone who knows me and asks about my reading preferences that there is little I won't read, but graphica is not high on my list of favorites. When our kids were young, we read to them often and at all times of the day and night; but, they remember a pat line of mine: "I don't do comics."  Too much interpretation and discussion of what is happening in the story...blah, blah, blah. Of course, that is one of the best things about graphica for young readers. They must make inferences, predictions, and are always thinking story, story, story. I loved them when I was a younger reader, for reading to myself. Now, I never read comic strips, rarely pick up a graphic novel.

Raina Telgemeier is changing that for me, and other graphic artists. I will admit that I am less likely to just pass them by than I was a few years ago. I bought multiple copies of Smile (Graphix, Scholastic, 2012) because I loved the way she told a story from her life in a way that was so engaging. Kids love them and they have been a great giveaway at workshops. I will do the same with Drama.

In it, she takes me back to high school days and major productions. I never wanted to be on stage, but I loved the shared camaraderie of a community of like-minded individuals working toward a common goal...and it was FUN! 

Callie heads up the set design crew for her middle school's spring production. There is nothing she won't try to make the performance more authentic. She works hard with her crew to bring her vision to fruition, all the while dealing with the day-to-day things that are happening backstage and at home.  Her pain-in-the-neck little brother continues his snooping ways, attractive male newcomers, old boyfriend, the school dance, fights with best friends...all the while she remains focused on the job at hand and her love for stage work.
This is another wonderful addition to the growing list of graphica for young fans. Raina Telgemeier  ably offers up Callie's world, at school and at home, alone and with friends, in happy times and sad, triumphant and dejected. We feel her joy and her pain (be sure to take a careful look at the double page that shows her rushing off to meet her new crush at the ball field). It is an authentic look at today's adolescent world, with its 'drama' and its familiarity. Callie is a great role model for other girls who are interested in theatre and finding their place in a middle school world.             

No comments:

Post a Comment