Graphix, 2012. 978-0545326995
Synopsis: Callie loves theater, but he knows she’s not good enough to try out for her school production of Moon Over Mississippi. So instead she joins the stage crew with the goal of making this the best drama production ever, even though she doesn’t know a lot about carpentry, the cast and crew don’t get along, and ticket sales are down. Drama on and off the set is complicating things more and more – will the show go on or will the curtain fall before the show even starts?
Why I picked it up: I loved Smile and I was so excited to hear that Telgemeier had written another book.
Why I finished it: This book is so perfect in its portrayal of junior high relationships and the ups and downs of crushes. Callie is an exuberant and likable main character, and I totally felt for her throughout the book, cause I am pretty sure most junior high girls have had their heart broken before things had a chance to happen. I like that the chapters of the book were divided into Acts just like a stage play and Telgemeier even cleverly inserted an intermission halfway through. I am also a huge fan of the art, which helps to reflect the middle school feel of the book. The style lends itself well to the audience and gives the story a realistic feel. I enjoyed that the colors are so bright and fun, and that some of the characters have non-conventional hair colors. The plot moves along nicely and I wasn’t ever bored nor did I want to skip over anything. Shamefully, I read through it rather quickly, but it was so engaging that I didn’t want to put it down. I can’t wait to see what Telgemeier does for her next book!
Other related materials: Smile by Raina Telgemeier; The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin, illustrated by Raina Telgemeier; The Dork Diaries books by Rachel Renee Russo; Amulet books by Kazu Kibuishi; Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney; A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeline L’Engle, illustrated by Hope Larson; The Popularity Papers books by Amy Ignatow; How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston; How to Rock Break-ups ad Make-ups by Meg Haston; Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick: Ginny Davis’s Year in Stuff by Jennifer L. Holm; Sidekicks by Dan Santat; Dear Dumb Diary books by Jim Benton