Friday, August 31, 2012


Title: Drama
Author: Raina Telgemeier   
Illustrator: Raina Telgemeier  
Publisher: Graphix
Publication Date: September 1st, 2012   
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Graphic Novel   
GoodReads Summary: Raina Telgemeier, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Eisner Award winner, SMILE, brings us her next full-color graphic novel . . . DRAMA!
     Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! Following the success of SMILE, Raina Telgemeier brings us another graphic novel featuring a diverse set of characters that humorously explores friendship, crushes, and all-around drama! 
What Jen Thinks: Everyone who has read Smile by Raina Telgemeier seems to be a fan. I know I am! The cover alone could win anyone over, but the story inside the pages is equally as charming. While Smile is an autobiographical graphic novel, Drama is not. It's important to keep in mind that Drama isn't a sequel or a companion and especially not non-fiction. Drama is quite possibly the most honest piece of realistic fiction I have ever read. I'm insanely proud of Raina for writing this book but also for Scholastic and Graphix for supporting her and this story. Sometimes people are hesitant to be completely honest and transparent about experiences kids are having everyday all over the world - by telling this story, Raina is telling her readers that she acknowledges the fact that not every person feels the same way about his or her sexuality and that understanding and accepting how they do feel might take time and might not be easy but it doesn't mean it's not real. My favorite part is that while Raina tackles this topic, this isn't what the story is all about at all. It's there, it's real, but there is so much more that goes on in Callie's life. 
     Here's what Drama and Smile do have on common: Raina Telgemeier's unique artwork you can't help but adore, endearing characters experiencing very real emotions, characters learning about themselves and who they are while navigating everything life throws at them, and characters who also have to look closely at the relationships they develop with others. I hope fans of Raina because of Smile or even her graphic novel versions of The Babysitter's Club will pick up Drama. I hope readers who may not have read her other books find Drama, too. I hope every reader of Drama keeps an open mind while reading this book and will  realize how deserving of a standing ovation this book is. I know when I finished Drama and turned the last page that I felt as though I had just read an amazing story that will push the envelope when it comes to the themes and topics it addresses. And it's pretty awesome to read a book and feel that so strongly. Bravo!
What Kellee Thinks:  Raina Telgemeier does it again. She has a knack for telling a serious yet humorous story with colorful, fun artwork. I loved her main character Callie- she was a very real 7th grade girl. I also loved that this book was not about the lead actress in a musical- it was about the stage crew (though some actors did play a part). Raina also does a wonderful job at introducing middle school boys who are questioning their sexuality in an unbiased, nonjudgmental way. It is completely appropriate for middle grade and it is very accessible to readers. Well done!!!
Read Together: Grades 6 - 12 
Read Alone: Grades 7 - 10 
Read With: Girl Meets Boy by Kelly Milner Halls (editor), Smile by Raina Telgemeier, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Snatch of Text:  

Mentor Text For: Paneling, Dialogue, Making Connections, Personal Narrative
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you were getting to know someone you had just met. How did you learn more about him or her? How did you judge whether they would be a good friend or not? How did you come to trust him or her? 
Topics Covered: School, Integration - Theater/Drama/Acting, Friendship, Love, Relationships, Honesty 
Jen *hearts* It:
Kellee *hearts* It:

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