I just wanted to make a short, small blog post, in favour of Raina Telgemeier’s new graphic novel DRAMA. I had been given an Advance Review Copy nearly a year ago, and the book itself came out this summer, but I finally made time to sit down and read it this past weekend, and it’s wonderful, and I had to share.

DRAMA is about a middleschool girl who, like her friends, is just starting to navigate early romances and complications they cause among friendships, set against the backdrop of the school’s big Musical Production, the actors, and the back-of-house tech crew.

DRAMA is a much tighter story than Raina’s smash-hit Smile, and I think Raina continues to grow wonderfully as an artist too. The storytelling is clean throughout, and there are a couple of really great, inventive sequences (mostly in the bookstores) that go above and beyond.

The story, about liking someone who doesn’t like you back, will resonate with pretty much any reader. I spotted myself in 11-year-old Callie’s dilemmas, and I think most people who read the book with an open mind will see themselves there too. The story’s added complications of falling for a boy who only likes boys, and then having to navigate that new territory, put a welcome, modern spin on the proceedings.

This is a great book, written and illustrated by a great friend of mine, and I’m glad I finally moved it to the top of the giant to-read stack. If you’re looking for a smart read for the about-to-be-teen family member in your like, I can heartily recommend DRAMA.

- Chris


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