Sunday, September 2, 2012

Raina Telgemeier

I just finished DRAMA. About a middle school student with a passion for theater. She works on the drama department's stage crew and seems to find as much drama off stage as she does on. Let me start by saying, clearly the show GLEE has demonstrated the hype around middle school and high school theater departments and programs. It has found a following from reality tv fans to small town show choir programs and it is a "scene" observers and participants can equally comprehend. I liked how Raina showed the level of depth and knowledge that participants in the arts have and need to acquire. The story line seems to focus more on complicated relationships than I think it needed to, and by the end I felt confused about the inner story. Because of the maturity of the characters and their reactions to events in the story, it felt more like this was more for high school readers than middle school.
Raina does a series of graphic novels inspired by Ann M. Martins's The Baby-Sitters Club books, which showcase middle school friends who have a babysitting business, and a lot of adventures and tangles along side it. This was my introduction to Raina's work and her vibrant and detailed illustrations grabbed me in and made me an instant fan.

Raina's challenging quest to be a "normal" sixth grader is a bumpy ride! One night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. Braces, surgery, embarrassment...all this and middle school.

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