In early February, I received a huge order for my Media Center. It’s always so exciting to get new books in to share with the students. Seriously, being a Media Specialist and purchasing books for the school quenches my overwhelming thirst to buy books for myself…at least a little bit!
One of the books that came in with this particular order was Drama by Raina Telgemeier.
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department 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!
I loved Smile (Telgemeier’s first graphic novel) so much so I was really looking forward to Drama. But I must say that although I enjoyed reading Drama, it wasn’t nearly as wonderful as Smile.
I feel like there was just too much boy drama in it. I know! I know! This coming from the girl who ADORES books with romance! I guess there just was too much friendship and relationship issues for me…hence the title “drama”. I don’t think Callie learned anything about herself in the end because she was just too wrapped up in all the boys. But, in the end Telgemeier is so talented at portraying those moments of middle school memory that still make us cringe and shake our heads at our middle school selves. There were so many times that Callie’s story took me back to the halls of both Sequoia Middle or Ridgeview Junior High School (yes, I went to two middle schools!) where I had some embarrassing drama of my own!
One thing that disappointed me was that I don’t really feel like I got to know Callie deeply. I know she’s not into being in the spotlight and she’s super creative and loves to read, but other than that? I don’t feel like I got to see much into who she was as a character, which is sad because that’s one of the main reasons I enjoyed Smile as much as I did – I majorly connected with and understood the main character!
Telgemeier’s artwork, though is fabulous! The pages are bright and inviting, which really is her style, and I will always rush to get her next title, even if this one wasn’t my favorite. So, in the end despite it’s flaws, Drama was still a fun read that I couldn’t put down and I recommend it daily to students (so much that the waiting list is pretty long!).