hipmamajenn (hipmamajen) wrote,

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Drama the NEW Graphic Novel by Raina Telgemeier Takes Behind the Scenes of Theater!

Drama by Raina Telgemeier is a funny and relevant graphic novel with warm, inviting illustrations that present us with realistic caricatures that could be found in any school USA. My only problem with the book is that throughout, I felt like I was reading about high school students rather than junior high school students and knowing that the kids were supposed to be in junior high took me out of the magic spell of the story.

Callie is smart, has a unique sense of style, (including pink and purple hair that no schools around here allow), and a drive to excel in what she loves, theater tech. Her friends aren’t the cloying, predictable cogs who often feel forced into stories written for this age group. Her friend Liz for example is there to listen to Callie about her experiences but is also quick to remind her that she has a lot of her own things going on. Two of Callie's new friends are the adorable brothers Jesse and Justin. The boys are both questioning their sexuality and although it is handled with respect, humor and honesty it is yet another plot that feels more authentic to a high school story.


Callie's technical department of her school’s theater department is more sophisticated then any I've seen. Not only have I never seen a junior high with the equipment, I’ve never heard of a program that would allow students of that age level the amount of responsibility and authority that Callie and her friends are allowed. It would be a rarity for a high school program to provide students with such opportunities let alone a junior high program. At one point Callie's friend Liz is redesigning dozens of Civil War era costumes all by herself and simultaneously Callie is creating a cannon that shoots off confetti.

That said, to see a play’s birth from the time that it is chosen and cast, through the rehearsals and design all the way to it’s production is a particular joy and Telgemeier does a great job of letting us peek at the process as she shares the passion and energy of theater with her readers. The book touches on friendships, romances, and questions what the results will be when the two intersect all in the time that it takes for one show to be produced. 

Drama is an an excellent choice for junior high and high school readers. Especially if they have interest in theater and/or graphic novels. Although there is nothing blatantly offensive, like theater everyone has a different definition of what is appropriate and I would be reluctant to share this title with younger readers do to some of the mature content.

Tags: graphic novel, yalit
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