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Awkward Paperback – July 21, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—Flawed protagonist Peppi is fantastically imperfect in this middle school graphic novel. She is the new girl at Berrybrook Middle School and is having a hard time fitting in because of her struggles with social anxiety. The work opens with the young teen pushing away the first person who tries to help her, Jaime, and it only gets more awkward from there. A feud between Peppi's after-school art club and Jaime's science club springs up. Can the two groups stop fighting long enough to earn a spot in the school fair? Will Peppi overcome her social anxiety and apologize to Jaime? Will any of them feel comfortable enough in their own skins to have a good school year? The story is told with a clear, believable voice. Diversity is reflected in this average middle school setting, and there are characters from a variety of ethnicities and are differently abled. Chmakova is an adept storyteller and organically incorporates messages of kindness and understanding without being preachy. The placement of the text and images were carefully considered. The illustrations and lettering are playful, bright, and fun, in keeping with the tone of the work. Readers will connect with the relatable, complex characters. VERDICT A superb graphic novel that authentically depicts the naturally awkward adolescent years.—Julie Zimmerman, Brooklyn Public Library --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
About the Author
Svetlana Chmakova was born and raised in Russia until the age of 16, when her family emigrated to Canada. She quickly made a name for herself with works like Dramacon, Nightschool, the manga adaptation of James Patterson's Witch & Wizard, and the webcomic Chasing Rainbows. She graduated from Sheridan College with a three-year Classical Animation Diploma. Her latest work for middle grade readers, Awkward, has been a runaway critical success and was named one of YALSA's 2016 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens!
Top customer reviews
Peppi is a young girl who doesn't fit anywhere except her art club. Her first day of school she embarrasses herself and ends up hurting the feelings of the nerdiest kid in school. This boy, Jamie, ends up joining the art club's arch-rival the science club. As the club's duke it out in the halls, Peppi and Jamie duke it out on the emotional level, both learning to come out of their shells and save their beloved clubs from cancellation.
What else can I say? The art is beautiful. The characters are beautiful. The situation is beautiful. The humor is beautiful. Why are you still reading this when you could read the book?
It did not disappoint - this is a beautifully drawn and told story of growing as a person, making friends and learning from ones' mistakes as seen through the eyes of Peppi, a middle school girl, finding her place in a new environment. From awkward situations at school, to hidden problems at home and learning to say "I am sorry", it is really easy to relate to the characters and situations both for kids and adults.
Loved it - a great book that is a perfect read /gift for any kid going to school (and any adult who remembers what it was like).
There's a great cast of characters with realistic yet cartoony aspects to them without going to deep into their respective stereotypes.
The book goes into middle school drama, and with real life personal problems as well especially with a character named Maribella. With how her story arc concluded, I would like to see her getting her own series about her exploits as I found her to be an interesting character.
The book is in full color and I like how the characters emote very well with their facial animations as it brings the art and world to life. This book is very character driven and brings out excellent interactions with a variety of different personalities. A very good page turner as I read all 200+ pages in one sitting.
Overall very good, fun filled middle school drama story. A good read for all ages.
If the author is reading this, please make a series on Maribella ;)
Very well written and honest, important and relatable topic for older kids/pre-teens, and long enough you don't feel ripped off. Awesome lesson.
Great artwork and inspiring for any kids getting into drawing.
Entertaining for adults to flip through, too (I admit I read it before wrapping for a nephew).