Friday, May 31, 2013


Telgemeier, R.  (2012).  Drama.  New York:  Scholastic.

233 pages.

So, after getting stranded in reading In Darkness for months and after going through getting the chance to act in a production of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress at my local community theater, Drama seemed like the perfect graphic novel for me to jump back into reading and blogging with, especially since I enjoyed Telgemeier's debut Smile so much.

Appetizer:  Callie and her friends work back stage in all of her school's drama productions at Eucalyptus Middle School.  As they prepare to put on Moon Over Mississippi, their final production of the year, just as much drama occurs backstage as on stage as crushes, in-likes, dislikes, realizations about sexual orientations, and fights unfold.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel.  The structure of the book mirrored that of a performance with an overture, acts and an intermission.  I also really liked that the focus was on the people who work behind the scenes of a musical instead of on the actors (which is what the audience usually focuses on).

Telgemeier does an excellent job of bringing the experience of middle school to life (I remember being equally impressed with this in Smile).  There's the crushes, new relationships, and heartbreaks of realizing your crush is interested in someone else (so much unrequited love!).  There's the embarrassing family members who you still love dearly.  There's the commitment to a club and the ceaseless effort to get it right.

I liked Callie as a character and her commitment to set design.  I think it could really encourage readers to think about what they're passionate about.

As Callie makes new friends with twins Jesse and Justin, I found that keeping the twins straight was the biggest difficulty of reading this story.  They do have different hair styles, but I found myself wishing that they didn't both have names that began with J's.

I also struggled a little with the character of Bonnie, a mean girl who auditions for one of the main roles in the musical.  There is no redemption for her.  Since so much of the story was about revealing who you are and what you want, I was hoping that at some point there would be more insights or empathy for why Bonnie was the way she was.

Dinner Conversation:

Tasty Rating:  !!!!

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