Pub 9-2012, Graphix, $10.99
You may not be familiar with Raina Telgemeier. If you are, then you know that she’s the woman who brought four of The Baby-Sitters’ Club novels to life through graphic novels. She also wrote and illustrated Smile, a graphic novel about her middle school and early high school years. Being familiar with her other works, I was excited to read Drama, and it definitely scored in many places. This book dealt with a controversial issue, though, which I’ll disclose thoughts on later on in the review.
Drama, like Ms. Telgemeier’s other works, is a graphic novel. It tells the story of Callie, a theatre-loving seventh grader who is working on her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi. After kissing the boy she’s liked for quite a while, he sort of rejects her, leaving Callie upset. Then she meets Justin and Jesse, twin boys who are in the eighth grade, and the three immediately spark a close friendship.
As with all of Ms. Telgemeier’s books, the art is exquisite. Her illustrations are absolutely wonderful. The way she captures human emotion in her drawings is truly brilliant. Honestly, even if you don’t like the story, the book is worth keeping solely for the sake of its illustrations.
As I mentioned earlier, this book dealt with a controversial issue: homosexuality. Some people have a problem with it; others do not. If you don’t have a problem with homosexuality, then I think you’ll love this book. If I were to look at the book from the point of view of someone who is accepting of the issue, then I would love this book.
If, however, you are a person who does have a problem with homosexuality, then you may not love the book as much, seeing as how it is a fairly vital point to the plot. I will say this, though: to Ms. Telgemeier’s credit, her book does not in any way criticize Christians or other people who do not endorse homosexuality. Being a Christian myself, I very much appreciated that.
All in all, Drama is a good read. The plot is intriguing, the illustrations are stunning, and I do believe that it’s possible for anyone to enjoy the book, no matter what your personal beliefs are. Though Drama is, in my opinion, not Ms. Telgemeier’s best work, it and its characters will have a place in my heart.
-Rachel P., 16