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Drama Paperback – September 1, 2012

632 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Callie loves the theater, even if she can’t sing well enough to perform in her beloved musicals. But when drama and romance—both onstage and off—cause problems, Callie finds that set design may be the easiest part of putting on a play. Telgemeier is prodigiously talented at telling cheerful stories with realistic portrayals of middle-school characters. Callie is likable, hardworking, and enthusiastic, but she is as confused about relationships and love as any young teen, and she flits from crush to crush in a believable fashion. Nonactors will love having a spotlight shine on the backstage action, but even those who shun the stage will identify with this roller-coaster ride through young teen emotions. In addressing issues such as homosexuality, Drama is more teen oriented than Telgemeier’s elementary-school-friendly Smile (2010). Her deceptively simple art may seem cartoonish, but it is grounded in a firm sense of style and washed in warm colors to give the story an open, welcoming feel. In this realistic and sympathetic story, feelings and thoughts leap off the page, revealing Telgemeier’s keen eye for young teen life. Grades 6-9. --Snow Wildsmith --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


* "Another dead-on look at the confusing world of middle school." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer. Brava!" -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Telgemeier is prodigiously talented at telling cheerful stories with realistic portrayals of middle-school characters." -- Booklist, starred review

* "The full-color cartoon-style illustrations are graceful, assured, and, along with the twists and turns of the plot, guarantee an entertaining and enlightening read." -- School Library Journal, starred review


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: GRAPHIX (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545326990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545326995
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (632 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Raina Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels Smile, Sisters, and Drama, all #1 New York Times bestsellers. She also adapted and illustrated four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin's Baby-sitters Club series. Raina's accolades include an Eisner Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor, and many Best Of and Notable lists. Raina lives and works in Queens, NY, with her cartoonist husband, Dave Roman.

Visit her online at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Lauren H. on July 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
I bought Drama so that I could increase the graphic novel section of my 6th grade classroom library. While the GN genre isn't large yet, I was glad to see a book that seemed very relatable to my students.
After reading Drama, I'm glad this book will be in my class library. I'm surprised at parents who are giving the book awful reviews for "hiding an agenda" from people who buy the book. The graphic novel isn't about being gay or sharing gay feelings--it's about being a person--especially a middle schooler who is confused (Callie wonders why she likes a guy who was mean to her, other characters don't know who they like or why--VERY relatable to middle school students!), and the book emphasizes what it means to be accepted for who you are. The main characters in the novel aren't in the "popular" group--they're the theatre kids who enjoy each other's company and realize that being popular isn't all it's cracked up to be. When one male character dresses as a girl and kisses a boy on stage, the crowd responds with a few giggles followed by thunderous applause. We should be so lucky that all of our children are as accepted for whoever they are throughout their lives.
I would hope that the parents who are griping about kissing scenes post similar reviews for any other book--graphic novel or text-based--that have kissing in them. The truth is that no child lives in a bubble, and a book is a great place to start a conversation about love and acceptance.
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55 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Jasmine Baggenstos on January 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
I never would have thought a graphic novel could have so many FEELS let alone one about a middle school musical cast and stage crew. Now, I didn't cry my eyes out or anything, but I did laugh out loud; feel totally confused (for Callie, not because of the story-line); get that super giddy, light-hearted feeling; and even wanted to just give poor Callie a hug.

Drama is short, but Raina Telgemeier packs so much into it. There's new love, confused love, best friends, guy friends, and even some self-discovery. And while the story focuses mainly on Callie you really get a feel for all the other characters and delve into some of the stuff they're going through as well. It's amazing how well a story set over the course of a year can flow when done right. It never really felt rushed either. I had time to process and experiences the emotions so I actually felt sucked into the story rather than a simple passerby.

The Nutshell: The art is awesome. The story is awesome. The characters are awesome. Are we sensing a pattern here? Basically what I'm saying is: Drama is nothing short of awesome and since it's a quick read, what have you got to lose?

Direct Hit

After reading the "most helpful negative review" on Amazon I'm appalled. I think it's amazing that Raina tackles such heavy issues for a young audience. The parents in the comments on this review are agreeing with the original reviewer saying this topic is too heavy for the age the book targets and that "sexual issues" are a sensitive subject for parents. I'm sorry, but I don't believe one's orientation is an issue. And I'd also like to point out there is nothing "sexual" in this story. There is kissing for goodness sake and, yeah, seventh graders do that!
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on August 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Callie loves the theater. She knows she can't sing (she and her family discovered that early on) but she's a fantastic hand for the stage crew. This year she's the set designer and she's planning on creating a set that will put all others to shame. One small problem...they don't have much of a budget. And ticket sales just don't seem to be there yet. Plus there's all kinds of middle school drama around and she just might have her first crush or two! How will the play ever happen with all of the drama? But Callie and her friends will make it happen or collapse trying.

Just like Smile this book is sure to have a bit of controversy because Raina writes about real life, such as relationships both male and female and male and male, which is bound to cause some readers angst. But here's the thing...everything that Raina writes about in this book is stuff that kids face in real life, regardless of whether parents and adults want to admit it. Raina accurately captures the feelings of confusion, infatuation, of the journey of discovering yourself, that we all experience in middle school and this is what her readers relate to. And it's why this is such a great book, because even as a male reader I related to Matt and his confusion over how to approach Callie (which is something that still confuses me to this day.)

Raina's art style is deceptively simple, but I love it. It reminds of "The Kids Next Door" cartoon (and yes that's a good thing) with how things are drawn and the colors choosen. She quickly and accurately captures the movement of characters and brings them to life with the expressions on their faces. They're expressions that I remember seeing growing up (and still see today come to think of it) that make the characters feel real. The colors are spot on perfect as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By N. W. on August 17, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A lot of people complain that this book has controversial subject matter. Although it would not bother me if my child read about homosexuality , I do acknowledge that it is heavily featured in this book. In fact, I think Miss Telgemeier's treatment of the subject is so heavy-handed that it comes off as a disingenuous ploy to stir up controversy. Having read her other books, I doubt that was her intention, but I just think she could have approached this topic better. All that being said, however, if I were to guess the real reason why it seems like many kids don't enjoy this book I would say that it's because it's boring. The entire book is about this teenage girl who is absolutely gaga about her male friend. This is basically the extent of the plot. Nothing interesting happens, it's mostly just the day-in day-out account of the lives of a few middle schoolers. I know that preteens and young teens do like to read stories about crushes and first kisses, but I would say that in a fair bit of those stories more happens and the plot feels like it's going somewhere. I greatly enjoy Miss Telgemeier's comic memoirs of her childhood, but the same style is just not suited to a fiction story. I wasn't even too sure what kind of story I was reading until close to the end. I give this a B-. I don't regret reading it, but I can see why a lot of kids don't like it and I doubt it has much to do with the homosexual subject matter for a good deal of them.
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