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Bright and Inviting: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Hi there!

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!

I just sat there and drooled...

I just sat there and drooled…

One of the books that came in with this particular order was Drama by Raina Telgemeier.

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!).

Author: Raina Telgemeier

Publisher: Graphix (Sept. 21, 2012)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 233 pages

Series: standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book:  Drama

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Waiting on Wednesday: Maximum Ride Manga (Vol. 6)

Haaaay!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine and is intended to promote those books whose release we’re excited for!

Maximum Ride Manga Volume 6 by James PattersonThis week I’m waiting on the newest edition to James Patterson and NaRae Lee’s  Maximum Ride Manga series, Volume 6.

The time has come for Max and her winged “Flock” to face their ultimate enemy and discover their original purpose: to defeat the takeover of “Re-evolution,” a sinister experiment to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race…and to terminate the rest. Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them-but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?
Now honestly, I’m waiting on this book not for myself but for my students.  I haven’t read the whole Maximum Ride series and I haven’t read any of the manga series, but these books get massive circulation in my Media Center.  I know that when I add Maximum Ride Manga Volume 6 to my collection my students are going to go CRAYZAY!  I need to preorder this one which will be released on December 11- only a few weeks away!

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7)

Waiting On WednesdayHi! I hope you’re having a wonderful day today!

It’s that time of the week where I post about a book I am eagerly anticipating.  This The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinneyweekly event is called Waiting on Wednesday and is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

This week I’m spotlighting the soon to be newest installment of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, The Third Wheel!  If you don’t already know (you must not know any middle schoolers) this book series  is a pretty big deal.  I seriously can’t keep them on my shelves, which is fine with me!  A new Wimpy Kid book means more of my students reading and an increase in my circulation!  You can’t go wrong with that!  Seriously, if Jeff Kinney just keeps writing new additions to this series, my job will be that much easier!  (Thanks Mr. Kinney!)

So, this new Wimpy Kid title will answer some serious questions:

Will Greg finally get a girlfriend?
Can Manny become any less annoying?
Will Rodrick ever give Greg a break?
We can’t wait to find out!

I know my students are going to be asking me about this book as soon as school starts in August, which means I’ll have three and a half months of telling them that The Third Wheel is scheduled to be released by Amulet Books on November 13, 2012 (which also happens to be my birthday!).

Are you waiting on a specific book this week?!  Leave a comment with the title – I always love to hear about some upcoming new reads!

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Let Me Count the Ways: Smile by Raina Telgmeier

I seriously loved this graphic novel.

Smile is a snapshot of a time in Raina Telgmeier’s life when she had a lot going on: dental drama, middle school, mean girls, cute boys, girl scouts, an earthquake and more dental drama.

It all starts one evening as Raina is coming home from a Girl Scout meeting, trips, falls and knocks out her two front teeth. So begins a long and frustrating journey with braces, surgery, horrible headgear and a retainer with beautiful fake teeth.  Throughout all of this, the dental drama is mirrored in Raina’s personal and social life as she deals with the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, a boy who likes her, a different boy that she likes, and friends who turn out to be pretty mean in the log run.

This is a coming-of-age story in which Raina must learn to actually like who she is inside.  Pretty much anyone who has ever lived through the middle school years will connect with Raina’s character and her struggles.  At times Telgmeier makes you laugh (out loud a lot!), cringe, and leaves you inspired.

For me, this book was more than just connecting with Raina’s character.  I felt like I could have been Raina on so many levels, other than the major dental issues.  Why do I really love this book and feel like Raina are one?  Let me count some of the ways:

1. I, like Raina also grew up in the San Fran Bay Area in the 80s/early 90s.

2. I experienced the 1989 earthquake and remember watching images of the broken Bay Bridge on the news (as Raina does)

3. Raina likes New Kids on the Block too!  She liked Joey McIntyre too!

4. We were both in Girl Scouts (I was a Daisy and a Brownie)

5. We were both a little (or more than) awkward back in those awful middle school years

6. I had mean girl friends who were not so very nice to me (and had to eventually learn that I didn’t have to take it anymore)

7. I was pretty boy crazy and often had googly eyes when “those who shall not be named” were in the same room as me (or if I watched them from a distance…what? You didn’t do that?)

Okay, so there are so many other reasons why I LOVED this graphic novel, but to list more would just be absurd.

Anyway, you get it. I really, really loved Smile by Raina Telgmeier.

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