Customer Review

26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Middle School Drama captured perfectly, August 27, 2012
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This review is from: Drama (Paperback)
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. But my favorite scenes of the book come right at the beginning, when we see the stage curtain go up. It sets the tone for the entire book and makes everything fantastic.

In short, Raina once again captures the essence of what it's like to grow up in the real world and she has created a charming and unforgettable story that will appeal to her readers. Raina's fans are sure to love this book just as much as Smile if not more. I give the book 4 out of 5 stars and I eagerly await the next book from Ms. Telgemeier as she continues to grow and thrive as an artist and a storyteller.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 20, 2012 8:15:23 AM PST
The book is well written, like Smile, but the content is what surprised me. My daughter stopped reading it on her own, and said it wasn't appropriate for her to read. Not all parents are okay with their children learning about sexual issues from fiction books. Content is definitely questionable for this style and type of book.

Posted on Jan 22, 2013 8:38:57 AM PST
I agree with you on the artwork. My daughter loves Telgemeier's work so much she just bought a poster of it for her bedroom. But I am wondering how many children you are currently raising. The positive reviews here seem to be from people who either don't have children or who are not currently parenting young children, while the negative reviews seem to be mostly from parents. Which raises the question: Do parents or non-parents know better what is appropriate for young children to read? I will confess that before I had children, I considered myself much more of an expert on them than I do now. Parenting is humbling. I agree with the other comment that I don't want my young children getting information on sex, heterosexual or homosexual, from fiction.

Posted on May 15, 2014 7:10:23 PM PDT
Debbie Smith says:
This could have been a good book if not for pushing the gay agenda do not appreciate this for my 9 year old granddaughter, if not hiding it why not put it on the back describing this book. SAD!

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2014 7:39:08 PM PDT
*smacks Debbie on the nose with a rolled up newspaper*
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