Drama by Raina Telgemeier ( website | tweet )
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic GRAPHIX
Target audience: middle grade
Keywords: Broadway, theater, stage crew, LGBT
Format read: ARC from NetGalley (Thanks!)
Summary: Callie, a Broadway buff, is working behind-the-scenes of her middle schoolâ€™s production of Moon Over Mississippi. As if working on the show isnâ€™t dramatic enough, the older boy she likes wonâ€™t talk to her, she sort of likes another boy but canâ€™t tell if he likes her back, and her little brother is going to drive her crazy.
I am absolutely giddy in love with Raina Telgemeierâ€™s work.
Drama is the first graphic novel Iâ€™ve ever read and while it only took me about an hour to get through it, I couldnâ€™t stop going back and smiling over the details in these colorful scenes and how perfectly Raina has been able to capture the middle school experience.
And for the theater lovers, finally: a book that celebrates those dear people who work on the stage crew, the kookiness that ensues, the intertwining love stories, budget constraints and trying to actually get people to the shows. (Plus the book was divided in Acts with an Intermission â€“ such a cute set up.)
Callie is a theater dork in a way that I geek out over theater and books and Disney. She cannot contain her love of the performing arts and I love that about her. She doesnâ€™t give a crap what other people think and good for her. Embrace what you love, Callie, and donâ€™t let that go. She also falls for boys pretty easily and gee, donâ€™t we all remember being like that in 8th grade? If it wasnâ€™t one boy it was another. Rainaâ€™s creation of Callieâ€™s wide eyes in particular scenes brought such comedy to the page. It was only one of the many small details that made such an impact. (I also loved the attention paid to Callieâ€™s bedroom. You can learn so much more about a characterâ€™s background without reading words.)
Raina also does a great job of integrating a crew of multi-cultural kids (I came from a very diverse middle school so this was great to see) and also blending in a variety of characters with different sexual preferences. As I read more and more books that include LGBT characters, I am so inclined to hug these writers who are so keen on depicting TRUE life.
I can only describe Drama as a total delight. It has surprising depth but doesnâ€™t weigh down the flow of the story or even the lighter moments. There are so many details to look at and take in when it comes to this novel, and I could see myself flipping through it again and again and always finding something new to love. The awesome illustrations and bright colors paired with a sweet story make DramaÂ a highlight in anyone’s book pile.